sometimes you have to stop and smell the chamois butter

Saturday, March 19, 2011

la classica di Primavera

Today marks the 102nd running of the the Spring classic, the Milan-San Remo.  The event was organized by the Italian sports paper, La Gazzetta dello Sport in 1907, who questioned whether or not finishing was even a possibility.  The first edition started on April 14, 1907, covering 288 kilometers and draconian rules forbade any feed zones or equipment changes.  Out of 33 starters, only 14 finished. 
In 1927 the race was moved from April to March, and the length gradually increased to 300 kilometers by 1946.
The fastest Milan-San Remo was in 1990, won by Gianni Bugno in 6 hrs, 25 min, 6 sec at an average speed of 28.45 mph.
The slowest was held during a snowstorm in 1910, where only four riders finished.  Eugene Christophe was the victor after 12 hrs 24 min.

The venerable Eddy Merckx holds the greatest number of wins at seven.
The Italians have taken 50 victories in their home country and Italian rider Wladimiro Panizza holds the record for participation with an amazing 18 starts.
 The event has become known as the "sprinter's classic," amazing in itself that riders have enough "kick" left after 299 kilometers of racing.

Friday, March 11, 2011

movie review - The Misfortunates

When in the movie rental store, I tend to gravitate toward the strange and quirky.  Independent films are preferred and for some reason I enjoy foreign movies with subtitles.  I usually trend toward the conservative side when watching movies with Lisa, mostly because I have picked more than a few duds in my time.  So since she was out of town, I went out on a limb and rented "The Misfortunates." 
The above photo was on the back cover and even though the dudes were naked, they were on bikes.  I've ridden a bike naked, so therefore I could relate and was intrigued for more back-story.
The film is Belgian.  So as one might expect there is bike riding and drinking.  Lots and lots of drinking.  So much drinking that Uncle Beefcake participates in a Tour de France of drinking, complete with a yellow jersey for the leader.  And as you can imagine, problems arise from all that debauchery.
The story is centered around 13 year old Gunter Strobbe, his dysfunctional family and his desire to leave the chaotic surroundings. 
That's about as much as you need to know without giving the whole movie away.
The film feels raw and confounding as it walks the line between tragedy and comedy.  It carries it's message close to the surface.
One might wonder what the attraction might be in such an emotional train-wreck of a movie.
I guess it's the same as most movies, we just want to see how it turns out in the end.
Plus, there are many scenes with bikes and any flick that incorporates cycling into the script has got my attention.  Naked or not.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

saturday spin with lola

Sometimes it's tough living with a special needs four-legged zombie.  Saturday started out as one of those days.  I could see it in her eyes as soon as she finished breakfast.  It was a "you're gonna take me out to play today or I'm gonna do something crazy while you're gone" look.
Normally I'm not so concerned when her brother and mother are around.  But the better-half had taken CottonBall with her to SW Utah for some vertical bluff-scaling.  For the next few days, it was just me and  the little nuerotic one.
Friday night at the mixer I had spoken with my friend Angela about doing a Porcupine lap.  It had just opened up recently and she was going with some other bad-ass lady-friends of ours.  I felt honored to be invited on the ride, and bummed to bow out.  I knew Lola needed to run wild, but Porcupine wasn't really dog friendly.
 So we packed up the truck and headed north for the Sovereign trail.  Although it's a short drive out to the trailhead,  both of us couldn't wait to get out of the truck.  Something about our rickety little toyota truck scares the bejeezus out of Lola.  When we turned onto the dirt section, she bolted away from the passenger door and tried to climb on top of my head.  It was rather difficult fighting off a 60 lb dog and navigating a sandy wash.  I managed to get her out of my lap, but she slid beside me and extended her broom-handle legs enough to press all her weight against me.  Ears cocked and body tensioned, there was no moving her until that door opened.  She stomped on me like a doormat as soon as I lifted the handle.
I couldn't wait to wear this crazed beast down.
And ride some sweet singletrack.
We started at the trailhead on Dalton Wells road and went up to the left towards Cedar Mountain.  I had never ridden some of that action and kept wondering to myself how this was possible.
I mean seriously....I couldn't believe I had never ridden this section of the Sovereign before.  There was plenty of climbing to the mesa top top and no shortage of technical moves on the way.  The climb up is mostly through a bentonite shelf, so as long as it's dry the trail is bomber.  The bottom section is a groovy slickrock wash.
It was a good ride for both of us.  I got to explore some "new" digs and Lola got the beat-down she needed to overcome her neuroses or whatever she has.
The weather was rather polite and we didn't see another soul out there.
Mmmm, singletrack.
I'm looking forward to riding this little gem again.
I think Lola is in too, as long as we don't take the Ez-truck.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

march radness

March.  It's a month and a word defining movement.  March also tells us that spring is coming and so are the people.  Gone are the sleepy winter days in our little hamlet of Moab where you can cross the street without so much as looking.  The rise in the mercury seems to have a direct correlation with the amount of cars rolling into town.  And a majority of those cars have bikes on the roof as well as frostbitten Cool-oradan's, itching to pedal in the warm desert sun.
Among those making the annual spring pilgrimage from our neighboring state are the folks from Yeti.  Yeti has had a connection with Poison Spider Bicycles and much of the community for 20 years.  So last night to celebrate, Wes and Penelope opened the doors of the Love Muffin for a Yeti mixer.   A chance for the locals to show their face in public again and rub elbows with folks they haven't seen in a while and maybe meet some new friends.
I'll have to say, seeing a pile of bikes outside an event warms the cockles of my heart.  The bike to person ratio hovered pretty close to 1 to 1.  There was cake and adult beverages being consumed, rides being planned and smack being talked.  
With the legendary HB leading the charge.
A big thanks to the Love Muffin, Poison Spider and Yeti for bringing everyone together.  It's good to start out the season with laughter and good friends.  And of course bikes.
Bikes of all shapes and tire sizes.