Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to one and all! Please drive carefully tonight as there will be lots of ghosts, gobblins, witches and other assorted little ones on the streets all on a healthy dose of sugar! They may not always be aware of their surroundings as they get zoned in on the next 'fix' - getting to the next house. Drive with a little extra caution.

Wishing you all a safe, fun evening. And if some of the candy in the bowl calls your name....indulge a little!

Just a little tidbit for this morning. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Professional Cycling - A Messy Situation

Back in July the Tour de France was rocked when the world learned about 'Operation Puerto'. Top names were tossed from Le Tour because of some alleged scandal. I know that everyone involved with cycling has a strong opinion about all of this and I'm no different.

From the beginning I didn't think it was quite fair that all of these guys were tossed by their teams before 'the big dance' on suspicion alone. Now, before you get all uppity, I do understand the teams wanting to be firm on doping and drugs. No arguement from me there. However, I live in a country where you are innocent until proven guilty. There was no confirmation about any of this 'evidence', just names on a list and 'poof' - gone from the Tour Day France. Ullrich, Vino (because they couldn't field a whole team) and Basso among others. Gone.

I have to say that, right or wrong, I was pretty correct - that some conclusions were jumped to that can't be proven. Including the clearing of Ivan Basso and now the Spanish authorities have dropped the whole affair. If you want to see a good detailed run down of the whole mess from the beginning check out cyclingnews.com's coverage.

The Spanish did not feel they had enough evidence to go forward with any further investigations. Hopefully, they are correct. However, the damage to cycling has been done, it is a doozie and, for those of us who love the sport, it's heartbreaking.

People's livelihoods have been compromised, possibly for the rest of their racing days. Teams have fired riders. Riders have left teams. Teams have had to disband all-together. Sponsor dollars have gone down the potty. Sponsors have walked away from the sport, maybe never to return again. All because of a list - and an unsubstanciated list at that. One that now is not being persued any longer. There will forever be doubters as to every single person on that list. Were they guilty and got away with it? Some will say, "we know so and so is guilty". All because they were on that list. Well, the authorities didn't think there was enough evidence so what makes me or anyone else out here just reading things on the internet expert enough to pass that judgement?

Pat McQuaid is frustrated, as he should be. The whole shananigans has bought more than just a black eye to his beloved sport. His solution? Have each of the riders implicated in this mess give DNA samples to prove that they are innocent. Excuse me? Didn't the Spanish authorities say there wasn't enough evidence to go forward with this? Maybe that doesn't mean everyone on that list is clean. Maybe someone will get away with something, but maybe, just maybe there are a lot more innocent people on that list than not. I'd like to think so. However, it isn't up to me to decide - the authorities did that and we have to live with it. That's the way the legal system works.

I, for one, won't hold it against anyone if they don't submit to a DNA sample for McQuaid because, personally, I wouldn't either. Think of it this way -- you are on that list and you truly are innocent (McQuaid conceeds that there are innocent people on that list). You have lost a whole season of not only doing something you love, but also been barred from making a living at. You may have lost sponsors and even your team over this. And, your name will forever cause cycling fans to have a doubt about you and never truly think of you the same way again. Would you be so willing to give in to McQuaid's 'solution'? Or would you be a little bitter at your treatment, where your word meant nothing, and simply tell him, 'you will not be getting my DNA."?

That's just my little opinion on the whole situation - I know you will have your own strong opinions - feel free to share them.

I wish we could turn back the clock and redo the Tour Day France over again, with all the players....wouldn't that be something to watch? Ah well, there is always 2007.

Just a little cycling tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Random Tidbits

It's been awhile, but I've been collecting little tidbits the last week or so to share. Here are a few random pieces of info, that I think are interesting or fun, that I've picked up to share:

The Beachcruiser (update: link now fixed!)reports that you will be able to get Harley Davidson Beef Jerky in January. Beef Jerky and riders don't surprise me. However, I personally associate Harley Davidson with high end merchandise. So, this is a little curious to me. But, more power to them.

Denis Leary doesn't joke around when it comes to the welfare of firefighters. He started The Leary Firefighters Foundation six years ago and raised millions to help firefighters around the country. Recently, he went to New Orleans to present the fire department there with 15 search and rescue boats. The department previously had none. This seems like a must for these folks. Bravo, Denis!

Ever wonder what it is like to be a bike messenger in New York City? One of the best known is a guy named Squid. Here is a piece that World of Adventure Sports broadcast last month on Squid and some messengers in NYC. Check it out.

Speaking of Squid, if you'd like to see some great photography of messengers and bike events, check out his wife's website. Amy's a pro photog and a super sweet lady.

Keeping with the messenger theme...here's some television footage of this year's Cycle Messenger World Series held in Sydney, Australia earlier this month. The little boy right at the start is just too cute.

Know your movies? Check out M&Ms online game "50 Dark Movies, Hidden in a Painting". It's perfect for Halloween time. It's another promotion for their dark chocolate M&Ms, which are a little addicting. Good for the folks in their marketing department - they didn't miss a beat when their first promo was cut short.

If you are a super respected custom motorcycle builder what do you do at Biketoberfest in Daytona? Well, Dave Perewitz rescues a turtle from possible death. Nicely done, Dave!

Just a few tidbits for this Sunday afternoon. Thanks for stopping by.

Update: Thanks to Train The Beachcruiser link is now fixed! My apologies.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Where's Lance?

Did any of you think that you might not hear anything about Lance Armstrong after he retired from cycling? Personally, I thought Lance-mania would die down a little bit by now. But, I think we hear about him more now than we ever did when he was training. It seemed like everywhere I turned this week, I was reading about or seeing Lance.

Here are just a few of the places he's been in the last week.

He bought a new hybrid car.
"I drive a hybrid because I firmly believe that we are at a
critical time in our Earth's life," Armstrong said by
e-mail this week. "The evidence of global warming is,
to me, overwhelming, and I feel the need to do my part."

Bravo, Lance!

He talked about his relationship with Matthew McConaughey. They're just friends. Did you really think any differently?

He has 'denounced accusations' of a new book by the same guys that wrote, "L.A. Confidential: The Secrets of Lance Armstrong".

And, lastly, he's been training for the New York City Marathon on November 5. Here's the training shot, ladies.

In case you were wondering, he's not sitting still next week either. He's visiting Lexington, Kentucky as part of the President's Cancer Panel on Monday.

No, we'll be seeing Lance for a long, long time. I only hope it is more for his supporting cancer research and programs and even his environmental stance rather than the athletics or the defending against attacks on his cycling career (news flash - he's retired now!). For whatever reason, people really listen to Lance. He has the ability to continue do some real good in the world. I wish him well in that.

Just a little tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Tyler On His Way Back

Velonews is reporting that on Monday Tyler Hamilton may be announced as part of the brand new Tinkoff cycling team. This just makes Friday that much more enjoyable!

Just a tiny, happy tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Transparent Floyd

One of the things you hear most about blogging is that it allows people and companies to be transparent. This is talked about as a good thing. Well, one person who is going completely transparent is 2006 Tour de France winner Floyd Landis.

As many of you know, Floyd is fighting a battle over whether or not he won Le Tour fair and square or whether he had a little artificial help. Everyone has an opinion, which is what makes the world go around.

Whatever your opinion on the situation, Floyd has decided to use his blog to be totally transparent. Today, they posted a link to his case information, which can be downloaded by any and all. Included in that is a powerpoint presentation by an MD that, admittedly, I've never heard of and don't know anything about. However, I read the powerpoint and realized that I didn't need to be an MD to comprehend what I saw on slide 3. The lab results report has the athlete identification number as 994474 (this is clearly seen on the snapshot). Floyd's ID number (also clearly shown in a snapshot) is 995474.

Number on the report: 994474 Floyd's number: 995474 Similar, but not the same. That is the key here - 'not the same'.

Was it a simple transposition of numbers? Maybe, but it is the same wrong number on another results page, too. That should give enough doubt about who the sample belongs to.

If you are interested in the case, it's worth downloading from Box.net. When you get there, click "Login" and then use "PublicAccess" as both the login and password.

Bravo on being so transparent, Floyd.

Just a Tour tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Remaining Interbike Shtuff

Here are a few remaining tidbits that are somewhat Interbike related:

- TSA officials need to have their belongings screened at security at the airport, too. At least in Boston. They have to send through the x-ray their shoes, change, coat etc....just like the rest of us.

- Kids are way too awake in the early morning. When you are trying to just sit and wait for your early morning flight, not even able to really focus on your book, having kids running around and playing tag is just a little much. They weren't even loud - just had way too much energy for that time of the morning.

- Just found Roland Burns' take on Interbike on his blog. You can read it here and here. Part one is an interesting twist on the Interbike experience. Part two, well, is completely flattering. Thank you, my friend. For those of you who don't know Ro, he's a founder and owner of R.E.Load Bags in Philly. All of their bags are custom and done by hand. Yes, by hand. Check out the process that goes into making a custom bag. Magic.

- The Viper Owners Group was in the Venetian, right next to the Sands Expo Center where Interbike was held. I have to say, for the first day I would have rather been there with them. Hey, they had signs that said "transportation to the track". Seriously. The new models of Vipers.....on the speedway......sweet!

- The best billboard I've seen in a long, long time was on the highway heading into Vegas.
"Don't Drink and Drive. We'd Rather Wait"
The purchasing company was a funeral home! Brilliant! Bravo.

Just a few remaining tidbits. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Perewitz vs. Yaffe Premiere's Monday Night!

Monday, October 9, 2006 (tomorrow night), the Discovery Channel is going to air the Dave Perewitz vs. Paul Yaffe Biker Build-Off episode. It's on at 9pm EST. If you are in the US, turn it on, sit down and prepare to be entertained. Yes, we know who won and are very excited about that, but what you might not know are some of the serious trials and tribulations that happened on the road to Sturgis and the big win. Let's just say that there was a night without sleep, parts flown in and other things along the road. It will make for great, dramatic TV even if you aren't totally into motorcycles.

The Perewitz Discovery Bike was unveiled to thousands of people at their shop upon its return from Sturgis.

As we all know, the success of any television series is based on its ratings. The more people who watch, the better the ratings, the greater chance you'll be seeing it week after week and, possibly, year after year. Not only would we like to help Biker Build-Off have another successful season to be picked up for another year, we'd like to make this one of the most popular episodes of the season! Why? Well, I don't know this for a fact, but I have to think that the episode with the most viewers would likely guarantee another build-off for those two companies the next year. Right? Audience demand and all.

I will be seeing the episode for the first time tomorrow night with all of you so I don't have any knowledge as to the editing, but I do know the story of the build and the ride and, as I said, it has the makings of great reality TV.

Don't miss it!

Just a little tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sights at Interbike

From my hotel room at the Venetian I had a great view of Vegas. I could see Harrah's, Bally's, The Flamingo, Paris, THE Hotel, Monte Cristo, Bellagio, Caesar's Palace, Rio, The Palms and The Mirage. At least those were the ones I could identify easily.

I also saw a few of the new items coming to the bike industry next year. Although I didn't get out of my booth much, I do know there are some cool things happening.

All those sights....yet my favorite 'sight' were the people I got to meet. I mentioned that I met up with some old friends, but this year there were new friends to meet. Actually, meet them in person as I've 'known' them through the blogosphere this last year. I even attended my first blogger get-together at Mist in Ti. Imagine that...me. At a blogger get-together. Seriously. There are even pictures to prove it.

We all know that I saw "New York Times" Jackson, Cubbie (no, I hadn't met Cubbie in person before last week!) and Chipps. But I met other bloggers, too. Curtis and Skiles from missingsaddle.com, Graham from Goclipless.com, Alan Snel, James Asher from altbike.com, Michael from cyclelicious.com, Kris from B.O.S.S. (brand new blog! check it out), Guitar Ted and even Michael from mtbikeaz.com, who has the best story. He was in Vegas at another convention during the same time and happened into Interbike with a big ole grin on his face (he may have been playing hookey from his conference...).

Rich and Chip from Interbike were at the get-together after their hectic day on the show floor's media center. And, I know there were other people at the gathering that I didn't get to meet by name, but it was just a nice, relaxing evening of chit chat.

One person I did get to talk to at both our booth and the get together was Tim Grahl. I'd been talking and emailing with Tim for months now. In some respects, I felt like I knew him, especially with all his podcasts going on. But it was just nice to chat with him for a bit. Although online is good, in person is better. We all know that. Tim did a podcast from our booth with Bob Roll - here they are in deep conversation. That was the first podcast ever from our meeting room location high above the show floor.

Not only is Tim talented, got a lot of drive (just wait 'till you see what he's going to be doing in the near future!) he's incredibly sweet. I'm looking forward to bumping into Tim at bike events for years to come.

I even got to meet the elusive Blue Squirrel. I think he was called in to work security for "New York Times" Jackson after the article came out, though.

I'm sure I missed mentioning a blogger or two that I met or talked to out there. If I did, I'm sorry. Talking with all of you was fun, fun, fun and the highlight of the trip. Thanks for being so welcoming to this non-techie.

Just another Interbike tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Interbike 1

So, Interbike is over for another year. There is a lot of work that is crammed into three days of the show inside (I didn't make it to Dirt Demo), but there is also some fun involved! What was fun for me? Here's a short list:

Seeing people that I only see once a year in person! I'm a people person, which is probably in the profession that I am! I enjoy spending time with people one on one or in small groups. It's great to see some old friends (Chipps, Garrett, Joe, Jennifer, Dave) and some new ones (Jill, Cubbie)!

I got to meet people in person that I've only 'seen' online! More on that later....

Celebrity sightings! Including my first, non-bike industry celebrity ever while in Vegas, Dennis Rodman. No fuss, no muss, no wild costumes, just sauntering through the Venetian with two other people. Dang, he's tall! I know, that's a silly comment to make about a former pro-basketball player, but he is!

Cycling celebs that I saw included Bob Roll (of course!), Gary Fisher, Mario Cipollini (The Lion King), Kristin Armstrong, Ned Overend, Dave Zabriskie and, of course, Tim "New York Times" Jackson. Yes, Masiguy was the lead, photo and all, in a New York Times article about blogging while we were in Vegas. That is just too cool. Congrats, Tim!

Dave Zabriskie visits with Jessi Pacetti and Curtis Zimmerman at the Kryptonite booth.

Although I usually hate having my photo taken, I couldn't say no to "New York Times" Jackson when he came by the booth, could I?

What else was fun for me? Going to my first ever blogger get-together! More on that later.

So, while there is a lot of work, there is some fun, too, thanks to the fun people in the bike industry. There will be more in the coming days...

Just an Interbike tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.

LiveStrong, Lance!

Got the Lance Armstrong Foundation's newsletter today with some good news in it. I'll let Lance, himself tell you....

"Ten years ago today, I was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer. Like most young, healthy men, I had ignored the warning signs. Going untreated, the cancer had spread to my abdomen, lungs and brain. Next to the challenge I now faced, professional cycling seemed insignificant. A lot has happened in the past ten years. Seven Tour de France wins later, I still consider beating cancer my greatest victory."

As part of the celebration of Lance being cancer free for almost 10 years, the LAF is giving 10% off their LiveStrong merchandise for 10 days. Checkout code is: tenyears There are many other ways to contribute to this great foundation, too. Check 'em out.

10/2. LiveStrong.

Just a happy tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.