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31 December 2010

Pedal Dancer Best of 2010

My Favorites from 2010 
Favorite professional photograph: Finish of the 2010 Paris-Roubaix
(just makes me wish I was there to see Fabian Cancellara win the Paris-Roubaix) from CyclingNews.com
Favorite amateur photograph: Giant of the Pyrenees goes into hibernation
(actually anything Paddy Sweeney captures in awesome) Photo from VeloPeloton.com
(I think it was my advanced lighting technique and proper choice of lens. Okay, it was a random moment in France with a dog.)
Favorite photo series seen online: SaxoBank cowboys at the Tour of California
(I hope they round these men up and bring them, with their hats, to Colorado in August 2011! I gotta admit JJ Haedo looks movie-star quality in that hat! And isn't Cancellara just plain likable?) Andy Schleck, JJ Haedo, Jens Voigt, Matti Breschel and Fabian Cancellara as seen on VeloRunner.
Favorite moment in a race: Fabian Cancellara drops Tom Boonen at the Tour of Flanders
(that was some motor Cancellara was using!)

Favorite off-the-couch moment as a fan online: Todd Wells wins at CX Nationals in Bend, Oregon.
(Nothing better than seeing Wells leave Jeremy Powers in the mud. Todd Wells is currently US National Champion in 3 disciplines: Cyclocross National Champion, Short Track National Champion, Cross Country National Champion - you know those other sports). photo from CyclingNews.com.
Favorite moment as a fan at a race: standing on the Champs Elysees in Paris explaining the rules of the Tour de France to a man and his wife who just landed that morning in Paris and didn't realize the Tour de France was going on.
("hey look honey, it's the Tour de France". To me that would be like stumbling out your hotel room onto the Olympics. But explaining the rules of the race simply made me appreciate how awesome the TDF really is.) Photo by PedalDancer.com
Favorite Grand Tour to watch online: The Giro!
(maybe because I've never been, so the mystique of the Giro d'Italia is still in place. Plus Ivan Basso sure looks perty in pink) Photos by Steephill.TV.
Favorite UCI race to watch in person: Amgen Tour of California
(it's so small town, one can walk right up and give Cav a big old hug and pinch his cheek) Mark Cavendish Photo by PedalDancer.com
Favorite moment for the fans: Shaun White executed his 1260 Double McTwist on his last run, after he had already won the gold medal at the Olympics, simply for the pleasure of the fans. (That would be like Fabian Cancellara sprinting another 5 laps around the Velodrome at the finish of the Paris-Roubaix just for the fans).
Watch the YouTube video here: Shaun White's 1260 Double McTwist

Favorite YouTube Video: my nephew Kenny the Professional Triathlete
(wow that hair, that speedo, he just has a style all his own)
Favorite Worst Interview: Alessandro Petacchi in Vegas
(we no speak Americano! What was the interviewer thinking? This is where we can all say I want that guy's job)

Favorite new cycling column: Ask Nick
(when I grow up I want to be as cool as this guy)

Favorite article: Michael Lewis Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds
(Of course completely non-bike related, but this appeals to the travel side of me. Plus he has the best writing style out there!)

Favorite search keyword term on my blog to date: "cyclocross in parking lots"
(best descriptive term of cyclocross ever, and so proud I could provide the information the visitor to my blog was searching for.)

Favorite can you believe we are here moment: At the final podium at the Tour of California
(nothing like perfecting the art of jumping the barriers) Photo by PedalDancer.com (Kenny Rakestraw)

Favorite quote in the moment: "Why is Jens talking to that skanky girl?" - Kenny Rakestraw.  
(I'm still not sure if Kenny was puzzled at how Jens Voigt was preparing prior to the Individual Time Trial in Los Angeles, California, at the Amgen Tour of California, or if he was more puzzled at the quality of the girl. Either way, it was a funny comment, then and now.) Photo by PedalDancer.com
That about sums up the year. I hope 2011 brings more class and quality to this blog. I plan to post some more pictures from the Tour of California and traveling to France for my birthday and the Tour de France this past July. I also plan to do a few book reports on the numerous books on cycling and the Tour de France I am currently reading. There will also be travel reports from attending the Tour of California, riding in California (training at low altitude!), chasing the Quiznos Pro Challenge, riding Levi's GranFondo, and perhaps the Triple Bypass, and maybe the GranFondo Whistler in 2011, plus with all hopes, more travel somewhere across to pond ...

Happy New Year!

30 December 2010

Pictures that make me laugh: David Zabriskie

Image of the day - $10,000 car $10,000 bike, million dollar man
David Zabriskie and his dznuts nutmobile
as seen on David Zabriskie Twitter
(somehow I think his seat bag is the funniest thing) 
(and he is looking fit this year) 

29 December 2010

Quote of the Day: Fabian Cancellara

Fabian gives his take on New Years Resolutions  
“It is exactly the unattainability, which differentiates a dream from a goal: Goals are reachable, when you fight for them. Dreams are not. Athletes shouldn't dream, but set goals for themselves and fight for them.” - Fabian Cancellara

27 December 2010

Pictures that make me laugh: The Schlecks

Image of the Day - Andy and Frank Schleck
The Schleck brothers swim with dolphins in Curaçao in November 2009

25 December 2010

Merry Christmas

Setting the pace for a great year ahead 
Merry Christmas to all, have a very special day!


24 December 2010

Christmas Eve at the French Bakery

This is becoming a tradition 
Inside the local French Bakery (Trompeau French Bakery) on the morning of December 24th, is a wonderful place to be. The line of customers is long and friendly. The smells delight and the choices abound. Behind the counter, three of the familiar faces I see on my regular morning visits are gathered together rapidly serving customer after customer. All the bakers are here as well. This morning they are all needed - the place is hopping. 
Talk is lively as customers pick-up special orders and the staff calls out what is due fresh from the ovens in mere minutes. A glance is given to the first customer at the counter as if to say it is worth waiting for. The rest of us in line relax a bit as we realize we are truly in no rush. I hear the names of familiar pastries being called out; cakes, quiches, tarts, breads and other specialty items made only this time of year. It is Christmas. 
By the time I get to the counter I have no idea what will be left for me to bring home, it really makes no difference, here is the one time when I am certain of the phrase it is all good. Then I saw it. The lone cake sitting on the rack behind the glass display with a small sign labeling it "Cannelés $1.50". Could it be? I hadn't seen one since I was in France in July. I requested the tiny cake as if I was asking permission to take it home. 
I found this description of a cannelés online: "These exquisite little cakes with origins in Bordeaux are simple elegance defined. The crepe-like crust, turned crispy by burnt sugar, houses creamy custard, moist and rich. A prime example of French mastery of pastry, these wonderful treats are both refined and sinfully good." I couldn't have described it better myself. 
When you are in France, in the medium to large cities, you will likely come across a bakery or sandwich shop offering a lunch meal combination. You will have your choice of a sandwich, canned soda, and a desert - if you see these cannelés, make one your selection. If you see them in a fine bakery, for certain, make one your selection. 
Why not throw in one of these while you are at it - a French macaroon (they are not made of coconut). From the best bakeries they are delicious, light and crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. 
Or in the morning with an espresso try a pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant). 
Wow, it is all good. Merry Christmas Eve!

Perfect stocking stuffer

For that special cyclist in your life 
Ivan Basso doing a little shopping recently 

23 December 2010

All that matters is you care

That you care enough to have an opinion
The local controversy of a hit and run cyclist (and cyclist safety in general) continues to be in the news. If you are interested in this topic, which affects Colorado cyclists to our souls, and perhaps professional cyclists and fans attending the Quiznos Pro Challenge (citizens are calling for a ban and change of venue) in 2011, there have been some recent articles worth reading:
After Vail hit and run driver walks, should cyclists boycott the town? BikeRadar, Bruce Hildenbrand, Thursday, Dec 23, 2010 5.00pm 
The Explainer: The doctor, the lawyer and the forgiving soul VeloNews, By Charles Pelkey, Published Dec 23rd 2010 11:27 AM EST 
Lewis: Two powerful financiers on opposite side of Vail bike crash  Denver Post, By Al Lewis, Posted: 12/22/2010 01:00:00 AM


What not to wear

To the office Christmas Party 
The festive moods of World Champion Fabian Cancellara, all shiny 
and sparkly

22 December 2010

Tour de France Character

Everyone knows El Diablo - right? 
The Devil of the Tour de France who has the tradition of showing up at the challenging part of the stage.
Well apparently Didi Senft has a side-job this time of year ...

As long as the costume is red, it seems he doesn't mind. Let's just hope he gets the costume correct for the kids' sake.


21 December 2010

Image of the Day - snowy winter

I wish for a White Christmas in Colorado 
(but instead it is going to be sunny and 49 degrees) 

Photo found on PeterWhitecycles.com

20 December 2010

Triple Bypass 2011

Much more information about the Triple Bypass, please read the Triple Bypass Page

Note to visitors to the website/blog today
The Triple Bypass drawing pre-registration (lottery) closed on January 11, 2011. Lottery results were emailed January 24/25th.  Final registration was on Active.com January 25-27th. Registration is closed, the ride is full for 2011.

Previous Post
Registration for the Triple Bypass is less than 3 weeks away 
There are some big changes coming in 2011. The Triple Bypass is a classic bike ride event every July in Colorado. For 23 years this event has been growing in popularity. Getting into the ride has become the real race. After the event sold out in 45 minutes last year, the event organizers at Team Evergreen have devised a new registration plan for next year. For 2011, entrance into the Triple Bypass is a two step process: pre-registration/drawing and then registration (if your name is drawn).
Triple Bypass drawing pre-registration January 7th-11th at 8am at www.triplebypass.org
How registration will work: January 7-11 / January 25 / January 25-27  [remember all three dates]
*the dates have changed in the past week
  • Beginning January 7th at 8:00am, go to www.triplebypass.org, you will have 4 days between January 7, 2011 at 8:00 a.m. and January 11, 2011 at 8:00 a.m. to register. (the deadline is 8:00am on the 11th!)
  • By pre-registering, your name is entered into a drawing. 
  • There are three possible routes this year, you must designate your first and second choice of route (you might have an option for more depending on your selection) at the time of pre-registration. You will hopefully receive entry into your first available choice. If it is full, they will go to your second choice. The day and time you register makes no difference in the lottery results.
  • No group entries. Every rider must enter the lottery.
  • You must register with a valid email. 
  • You will be charged a non-refundable $10.00 registration fee for entering the lottery, which is non-refundable, but will be applied toward your final registration fee on Active.com. The fee is non-returnable if you do not get into the event. 
  • You will receive an online confirmation (not an email confirmation).
  • On January 25th, you will be notified by email if your name was drawn, or you will receive a negative response (you will be placed on a waitlist for 2011). They plan to send an email to everyone regardless of selection outcome.
  • If you receive an affirmative email, beginning January 25, 2011 at 8:00 a.m. through January 27, 2011 at 7:00 a.m. you will need to register on Active.com. You must complete this second step at Active.com to complete your registration online for the Triple Bypass ride.  
  • Final registrations are non-refundable and non-transferable. 
Triple Bypass route choices for 2011
Beginning in the left column, tick the button of your first route choice, then make your second choice using the drop down box in the right column of the button selected (you are given a few options under the drop down boxes so read carefully). Good luck!
Cost
Triple (one-way/either way): $150
Double Triple (two-way): $275

The good news
Last year 3,500 riders rode the Triple Bypass in one day. This year the event organizers will be managing 6,000 riders cycling the route over two days, so your chances of getting into the event are much greater. Also you have three route options for 2011.
  • The Triple Bypass West (Original route) Saturday July 9th, 2011, Bergen Park to Avon (accepting 3,000 riders).
  • The Triple Bypass East (Reverse route) Sunday July 10th, 2011, Avon to Bergen Park (accepting 2,000 riders).
  • The Double Triple Bypass (Both routes) Saturday and Sunday, July 9th-10th, 2011, Bergen Park to Avon (Saturday) / Avon to Bergen Park (Sunday) (accepting 500 riders total).
Maps of the Triple Bypass
click images to enlarge
what:    Triple Bypass
where:  Bergen Park (Evergreen) to Avon, Colorado (or reverse)
when:   July 9 and 10, 2010. There is no mass start time. Start time is 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.
who:     there will be 3,500 riders on the course on Saturday (traveling east to west) and 2,500 on Sunday (traveling west to east).
why:     a chance to ride three huge Colorado Rocky Mountain passes (Squaw, 11,140'; Loveland, 11,990'; Vail, 10,560') on one 122-mile "lung-busting day"with over 10,600 feet of climbing. This is a ride event, not a race (there are no times given).

how:     the event does have checkpoints (where you are unable to pass) where riders must show wristbands and helmet numbers to proceed.

I personally really liked this event, I rode it in 2009. The route is great, the volunteers just right, and it is low-key. Also it attracts good riders. It is not that difficult, I found that I finished with the same group of riders I started with. I think when you are speaking about 122 miles at high altitude, everyone who rides this ride knows to take it steady. I have to admit that at about mile 82 it occurred to me this is a long time to be out on a bike. It is totally doable and not as hard as I had expected, but I have a clear memory of thinking on the drive back home that was good, but I don't think I need to do that again. Well I might just do it again. Be aware however that the weather can be wicked in Colorado, even in July. Rain, cold, and sleet have at times tortured riders in the past.

If you are looking for a ride worth traveling to Colorado for with your friends - the Triple Bypass is your ride. It is epic. Just remember to bring an extra friend to drive you back to the start area 1.5 hours away by car (or you'll have to pay for the bus). Or make your hotel reservation in Avon and ride back to your car the next day - that would be called the new Double Triple.

For more information on the Triple Bypass 2011 please read the PedalDancer.com Triple Bypass Page (more information coming soon).


19 December 2010

Best part of the off season

Sunday Morning and NFL Today 

I love Sunday mornings at home. Reading the New York Times newspaper spread across the couch, and listening to the interesting cultural stories on CBS Sunday Morning
Then the TV flows into the NFL Today show. That is right, I love listening to the opinions and predictions of these well-known retired football players and a retired coach. I welcome the 30-40 degree Colorado winter temperatures outside, as these familiar voices mingle with the smell of fresh coffee and fill my home with comfort. I don't miss those 4 hour Sunday bike rides so much. It is winter in Colorado.
The banter between James Brown, Dan Marino, Bill Cowher ("Coach"), Shannon Sharpe, and Boomer Esiason is wonderfully entertaining.
I have dreams of returning to weekend snowshoeing with my dog soon. I might wait on the backcountry skiing this year and instead find new motivation to truly get myself on that old bike on the trainer set-up. It has been nine weeks since my fall mountain biking and I have set the crutches aside. Yesterday was my first trip to the market without crutches. As I unloaded my groceries at the check-out counter, the check-out person said, "my you look incredibly fit". I looked at him in shock, jaw dropped, and then with genuine gratitude beamed, "Thank you, this is my first day without crutches in 9 weeks. I guess resting on the couch is good for fitness". We laughed.
So there you go, so much for the typical New Year's resolution of getting back to a workout program. All I know is rest and Sunday morning TV - and Christmas cookies, are excellent for healing. I recommend all three highly.

18 December 2010

The local scene

Local boys done good, and done weird 
I've had some good chuckles the last couple days over local cyclists in the news. It is always strange when I see someone I know being interviewed in an article or in a video clip on YouTube. I spend a great deal of leisure time reading about European cyclists and those who seem a comfortable distance away. But when the people that I see at local events show up in the media it seems odd and makes me chuckle. 
Let's start with the local boy done good. This interview with Carlos Casali today at 303.Cycling.com is a case in point. Carlos is the guy we all cheer for at local races. The guy who volunteers at Masters and Juniors races as much as he races them. The guy who has the quickest smile in town, and the guy who we all really want to see win. Plus Carlos's son Adam is one of my favorite racers and fans to see at races. Reading this article makes me want to read about all my friends in interview format, just to see what they would say. Talk with Carlos Casali of the Gates Singlespeed Race Team
Here is a cool YouTube video of Carlos and the Gates Carbon Drive Team at Cyclocross Vegas in 2010. They race single speed cyclocross bikes with carbon belt drives

Pertaining to the local boy done weird; I have been following this story for awhile. A 50 year old ex-racer who had his glory days long ago, gets an idea that he wants to make a big comeback and ride for a professional cycling team again. You know the kind filled with twenty and thirty year-olds. This isn't Lance Armstrong taking a couple of years off racing and then coming back at age 38, this is a 50 year-old who hasn't been racing even in the local scene for years; but does have a name, and a reputation. 
Motivated by the Quiznos Pro Challenge, the new UCI ProTour race coming to Colorado in 2011, Alexi Grewal, having ridden the Coors Classic "back in the day" (the day was 1986!), has decided to join a professional cycling team and compete in the race. Just like that. He makes it sounds so easy. He is totally serious. Yesterday 303cycling.com again mentioned Grewal's far-fetched (wild, crazy, just plain weird) ideas. In his own blog Grewal mentions talking with his coach (Len Pettyjohn of 30 years ago) to make a plan for his comeback. Oh my.
Grewal was the captain of the 1986 7-Eleven team, but was dropped by the team later that same year after spitting on a CBS camera man who got too close. He raced for the U.S.-based Coors Light pro team from 1989-1993. Velonews interviewed him this past September, Grewal told them, "I’ll be using hiking boots and flat pedals for a few more days, then the real stuff".
This photo of Alexi Grewal was taken by VeloNews in September 2010 (two-thousand-ten!)
“The first objective of what I see as a three-year commitment to racing is to ride Quiznos and be the only person to compete in all three of its incarnations, Red Zinger, Coors Classic and Quiznos Pro Challenge,” Grewal told VeloNews.
I can't help but laugh with this story. Oh the suspense of waiting to see if he will race with toe-clip pedals and downtube shifters, will trade his steel bike in for a new fancy carbon model, will leave the wool shorts and styrofoam helmet behind, and will fuel himself on Gatorade and Chai tea.
Here is my photo of the local gang in Boulder, Colorado, in May 2009 at the Road2Victory event ride. In this photo are some (old) names of cycling. Just a day out pedaling in Boulder, Colorado:
click image to enlarge
Cycling Legends (above left-to-right): Nelson Vails, Len Pettyjohn, Ron Kiefel, Andy Pruitt, Connie Carpenter, Hugh Walton, Dale Stetina, Davis Phinney, Alexi Grewal, Marianne Martin, Clark Sheehan, Thomas Prehan, Leonard Zinn. Photo by PedalDancer.com
Alexi Grewal in 2009: Photo by PedalDancer.com
Alexi Grewal's blog. On his site you can read that Alexi Singh Grewal (born September 8, 1960 in Aspen, Colorado) is an Indian-American Olympic gold medalist and former professional road racing cyclist. At the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Grewal became the first American man to win an Olympic gold medal in road cycling. After winning Olympic gold, Grewal turned professional and signed with the Panasonic team and later with the 7-Eleven Cycling Team. On September 25th, 2010, VeloNews announced that Grewal would be making a comeback at age 50, targeting the Quiznos Pro Challenge in Colorado in 2011. VeloNews article: Inside Cycling with John Wilcockson: Alexi Grewal is deadly serious about comeback. Okay good luck with that.

15 December 2010

We'll see the forest with the trees

Good news about the Paris-Roubaix

Arenberg Forest to remain in 2011 Paris-Roubaix Infamous cobbled sector stays in the race despite rumors to the contrary

I wanted to know: the article above references three sections of cobblestones rated as five-star in the Paris-Roubaix - what are the three sections?:
Answer:  
1. Trouée d'Arenberg, Length 2.4 km, 17th section of pavé 100 km from Roubaix. The Trouée d'Arenberg, Tranchée d'Arenberg, (Trench of Arenberg), Trouee de Wallers Arenberg is located close to Wallers and Valenciennes. It has become the symbol of Paris–Roubaix. Officially 'La Drève des Boules d'Herin', the cobbles were laid in the time of Napoleon I.
50°23′56″N 3°24′45″E / 50.399°N 3.4125°E / 50.399; 3.4125.   View location on map 50°23′56″N 3°24′45″E / 50.399°N 3.4125°E / 50.399; 3.4125.
2. Mons-en-Pévèle, Length 3.0 km, 10th section of pavé before the finish in Roubaix. Mons-en-Pévèle, located in the municipality of Mons-en-Pévèle. It is one of the key sectors, one of the toughest and within 50 km of the finish. It has been used every year since 1978, (except 2001). 
50°29′31″N 3°07′05″E / 50.492°N 3.118°E / 50.492; 3.118.   View location on map
3. Le Carrefour de l'Arbre, 2.1 km, 4th section of pavé before the finish 15 km away in Roubaix. Le Carrefour de l'Arbre (or Pavé de Luchin) located between Gruson and Camphin-en-Pévèle. Huge crowds gather here every year to await the decisive move.
50°35′N 3°14′E / 50.59°N 3.23°E / 50.59; 3.23.   View Location on map
Paris Roubaix five-star cobblestone sections
click image to enlarge
Cobbles that are rated five-star are considered to have "good conditions for the first 1,100m, then deteriorating, followed by 1,100m on which mud runs down from fields". That's pretty funny.

I hope this inspires some kids

To get out and swim bike run 
This is the new Wheaties cereal box in honor of Chris McCormack, the 2010 Ford Ironman World Champion. He raced 140.6 miles to beat out 1800 other multi-sport athletes recently in Kona, Hawaii, in a time of 08:10:37. He is the first triathlete to ever be honored with a spot on the front of a Wheaties box.
If he inspires any child to get out their front door and swim, bike, or run, it will be a very wonderful thing. McCormack is just plain inspirational, and fast.
We came upon Chris McCormack being a fan himself at the Amgen Tour of California time trial in Los Angeles, California in May 2010. Chris McCormack and Kenny Rakestraw

Chris McCormack's Wheaties Box Reveled - in markets in March 2011. 

NBC coverage of Kona Ironman is on TV Sunday afternoon!


14 December 2010

US Continental Cycling Teams

If you are interested, a good summary of the US Teams for 2011
US is home to 10 UCI Continental men's teams for 2011 By: Cycling News Published: December 14,
A list of the cycling teams based in the United States for the 2011 racing season:
4 UCI ProTeams:  
Garmin Cervelo, 
Team RadioShack, 
HTC-Highroad,  
BMC Racing Team
10 UCI Continental Teams: 
Bissell Pro Cycling Team, 
Jamis/Sutter Home, 
Jelly Belly Cycling Team presented by Kenda, 
Kelly Benefit Strategies, 
Kenda Pro Cycling presented by Geargrinder, 
RealCyclist.com, 
Slipstream Sports, 
Team Exergy, 
Trek Livestrong U23 Team,  
Wonderful Pistachios 
The article above lists the rosters of each of the 10 UCI Continental Teams. Check out your local Pros. 

13 December 2010

Quote of the Day: Mario Cipollini

More Machismo! 
“At the beginning of a sprint, I felt like a gladiator, ready to do anything to keep my place. And when I lost, I wasn’t capable of going to congratulate whoever had beaten me, like Andy Schleck did at the Tour. Me, I’d hate him because he’d taken the bread from my mouth.” - Mario Cipollini
This quote is one of several interesting comments made recently by Mario Cipollini in: Cipollini decries modern cycling's lack of machismo. I like this quote, it puts the grit back in competition. I've been watching these post race scenes wondering it must be hard to go from a must win attitude to all smiles a second later, unless the win is either determined ahead of time, or their sponsor is encouraging them to go hog the limelight whether they win or loose.
Today's big news was the announcement that the new Team Luxembourg Cycling Project will officially be going by the new team name Leopard. Alright, I say bring back the Mario Cipollini skinsuits!
Team Leopard! I like it. I think Jens Voigt would look good in spots. Now we're talking Macho! Team Leopard could redefine what has solely been the fashion statement of the American Cougar.
Meow!

11 December 2010

10 December 2010

09 December 2010

08 December 2010

Basso is coming to Colorado!

Race organizers of Quiznos Pro Challenge announce 5 teams
The new ProTeam Tour coming to Colorado in August 2011 will include the four American based teams Team RadioShack, HTC-Highroad, BMC Racing Team, Garmin-Cervelo, and the Italian team Liquigas-Cannondale.
Ivan Basso is on Liquigas-Cannondale! I am a fan of Ivan Basso, this will be fun, I sure hope Basso comes to Colorado. But rosters will not be announced until most likely after the Tour de France in July, so we will have to wait and see.
Photos by: PedalDancer.com at the ATOC 2009

Four top US-based teams plus Liquigas for Colorado race By: Cycling News Published: December 8