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Friday, October 28, 2005

The Terrorists Have Already Won


"The UCI has banned cyclo-cross races from passing through beer tents, one of the hallowed traditions in many Belgian events. The decision was made on the grounds that it was unsafe, on the basis of remarks made by Richard Groenendaal last year about the difference in inside/outside temperatures and the danger of being hit by beer glasses. However, Groenendaal said that his comments were not intended to be taken that way."

Le Tour '06

From the wires:

"With five major mountain ascents -- including the Col du Tourmalet, Col d'Izoard, and Col du Galibier -- and three uphill finishes, the route is likely to favor the climbers."

Huh? Since when is three mountain top finishes (including only one in the Pyrenees) a climbers' route? Also, there are two 50+ km ITTs (sadly, no TTT), so if you're going to win, I would guess that you need to ride against the clock above all else. In other words, can we agree now not to mention Iban Mayo and Roberto Heras as possible challengers? Seriously, get the results from last year's final TT, discount Lance, and there are your big challengers. Namely, Ullrich, Basso, Vino, maybe even Leipheimer.

Here's the route.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rain...Rain...a welcome sight(?)

I know what your thinking. Mr. Van P has apparently lost it, right? Actually I have rediscovered my love for indoor training. Currently the satellite view of New England shows nothing but circular bands of rain pelting us, which has been the pattern all month. I had about a three hour window to ride outdoors last weekend and the upcoming weekend doesn't look any better. It's time to plop the WC tapes in the VCR and click into my pedals and spin away.
My workout consists of an hour ride, with a cadence over 80 and a heartrate over 125. I use a speedometer on my rear wheel and I will try to keep the speed over 21 mph. I will do some speed intervals as well as climbing intervals out of the saddle.
My trainer rig is as follows:
91 Pinarello with full Shimano 105 STI with OP rims and some old Vittoria wire-bead tires that I just can't kill. I mount the bike to a Performance Traveler manetic trainer. I have a sigma computer installed with a rear speed sensor and my Polar S725 HRM mounted to the bar picking up my HR as well as my cadence from a sensor installed on my seat tube. I try to keep the bike fit similar to my road bike, but it's not perfect due to a shorter top tupe on the old bike. I also put the front wheel on a block to keep the bike level, which saves my hands quite a bit.
I watch nothing but cycling tapes that I made during the summer. I pick races that are fun to train to, and I edit out all comercials. TT's are the best to watch to maintain cadence or anything with Lance in general (try to keep up with his cadence for more than a minute..). Classics are the best races from an entertainment standpoint There's something fun about watching guys in long sleeves and shoecovers getting soaked, while you are inside nice and warm.
What's your winter routine/set-up?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Corey Hotline

Let's see what's in the news today...Hmmm..Canada stalls on trade pact.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Off season prep

With the cold weather officially here in New England, our racing bikes are getting ready for a nice winter break, letting us dust off the cross or b-bikes for the upcoming months. Here are some tips to make sure your A-bike is in showroom condition, once the warm dry days return.
1. Clean frame and fork. This is a good time to clean the frame and fork of all the road grit that has accumulated over the year. I use a bucket of warm soapy water, a scrub brush and sponge. After rinsing the bike with a hose (do not use any pressure and make sure not to spray water into bb or hubs as it can break down the grease in the bearings) apply warm soapy water to the frame with brush or sponge. Once finished, rinse off with hose. I apply Pedro's Bike lust to give the frame a lustrous protective coat. You can also use Armor-all wipes.
2. Remove seatpost. It is easy for a seat post to weld itself to the seat tube due to oxidation. Please remove and thoroughly clean the post as well as the inside of the frame. DO NOT apply grease to a carbon post, however if the post is aluminum, apply a fresh coat.
3. Re-grease bolts and threads. It is a good idea to remove the bolts from your stem, seatpost collar, seat clamp, chainrings, crank arms, and pedals and clean all threads and apply a fresh coating of grease.
4. Drivetrain cleaning. I remove the cassette and soak in Pedro's degreaser and clean each clog until it shines. Personally, I do not remove the chain to clean it, however be careful when applying degreaser to the chain. Tilt the bike at a 45 degree angle toward the drive side to make sure degreaser does not run into the bb or hubs.
5. Wheels. I clean the wheels as I'm doing the frame. Nothing fancy, just warm water and soap. It's a good idea to remove the tires and tubes as water can get inside the rim through the valve stem hole. I don't replace the tubes, but I inspect them to make sure the valves aren't pulling out. It's also a good time to inspect your tires against cracks and cuts. Don't be like Murray and get stranded because your tire is so dried out that it's welded itself to the rim....
6. Re-wrap bar and tape. Trust me it's time and you'll love the feeling of some fresh cork on your hands, plus your bike deserves it.

While cleaning you want to inspect all your cables and housings, cleats, cassette cogs, brake pads, chainrings and chain for excessive wear and replace as needed. Nothing beats starting the next season with tip top equipment. Don't wait until you have a failure 30 miles from home.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Happy Birthday Petey!

Digital Peloton sends a birthday shout-out to big brother/co-site manager Petey, on this his 25th birthday. Or something like that. Happy birthday Petey!

Thursday, October 13, 2005


I didn't make the Discovery Channel roster again. Lord knows I tried...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Interbike 2005

I have been following cyclingnews' daily coverage of Interbike 2005 with mild amusment over the last couple weeks. As the pro cycling road season winds down, the industry tries to generate a little interest in the sport by offering a sneak peak of what's in store for the upcoming year in the bike manufacturing business. Some of the current trends are toward lighter frames (this is nothing new) like the Litespeed Ghisallo (770 grames!) and the Colnago C1. There has also been a big push to build a lighter crankset made of monocoque carbon and integrated bottom bracket. Wheels have also started to reach the 1,000 gram threshold with the use of more carbon and fewer spokes. All good stuff for the average weekend poseur looking to drop $10,000 or more on their next bike to impress their buddies at the coffee shop (I know, I know, guilty as charged..). Then I happened to notice a photo of the bike Tom Boonen rode to the World Championship title a few weeks ago. He races for Quick Step who is sponsored by Time and he rides the latest VXRs frame, a lugged carbon beauty with integrated seatpost and tapered fork designed to take all the punishment the cobbles of Belgium can dish out. Then I averted my gaze downward and I noticed that he is using a standard issue Campy Record alloy crankset (no Time Carbon crank for Big Tom) with a standard square tapered bb (read Shimano V Campy for more details). This was no surprise really, since many of the big sprinters have bucked the trend toward carbon cranks. The big surprise was the wheelset he chose. Standard tubular rims with 36 spokes and balloon-like sew-ups that look to be 23 or 25 mm. No aerodynamics, no light weight low spoke count, no carbon, just the kind of wheels we might have on our b-bikes for training rides. It just proves that the pros favor duarability and stiffness over everything else. As an avid golfer I see a similar trend in club technology. Super sized titanium headed clubs on ultralight graphite shafts designed to make your average 25 handicapper get home in two on the par fives at the local muni track. Of course Tiger still plays with a set of clubs that's comparable to a set of 1960's Wilson Pro Staffs collecting rust in my cellar. I suppose if Tom Boonen showed up for my club ride on Drew's old Univega, he would be nothing more than a blur once we pulled out of Norwell High's parking lot. All the carbon titanium 'bling 'bling in the world is no substitute for good legs and hard work. I have to go now. I just realized I can save 8 grams if I replace all the stainless steel bolts in my stem with titanium....


Sunday, October 09, 2005

Erik the Great!

It pleases me to no end to see my favorite pro racer score his third victory in today's Paris-Tours race. Erik Zabel has always impressed me with his ability to win all year long. Sure he's lost some of the afterburners that have guided him to 6 green jersey's in the TDF, but the man still brings it after 13 years of many successes, some failures and unimaginable hard work. Erik races for a team that is built for Grand Tour victories. He doesn't have the "Blue Train" leading him out like some of the boutique sprinters. He doesn't shy away from tough one day classics nor does he ever bail out of the grand Tours once the road tips upward. He is the consummate Pro's Pro an all around great guy and a throwback to the days of Merckx, when cyclist raced every week to pay the bills. Plus he rides 25k+ miles a year, making him my personal hero. Great Job Erik, no one deserves it more.

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