Monday, June 30, 2008

Mad Props Vol. 14

If Eddy Merckx is the "King" of cycling, Jeannie Longo is, without question, its rightful Queen. Remarkably, she has been a formidable presence in her sport longer (29 years) and accumulated more professional career wins (575) than his great highness Merckx (525). Jeannie has done it again. This past weekend she pulled on the French national championship jersey for both the Road Race and Time Trial. She'll turn 50 in October.

Jeannie's first French road title came in 1979. Today, she has 15 titles gracing her palmares. She also has twelve World titles (5 Road, 4 TT, 3 Track (Points, 3km Pursuit)), three Tour Cycliste Feminin wins, the Womens World Hour record (45.094 km/hr), a second place in the Womens UCI World Mountain Bike Championships, and countless others. You can see a more complete palmares here.

If Jeannie were to show up to your local ride she would surely tame the trademark arrogant snobbery. After all the dyke jokes and smirks of derision subsided, she would undoubtedly hand out a royal ass whuppin' and wipe the pave with myriad egos. Then, perhaps Martina Navratilova would be waiting at the local Starbucks to meet Jeannie for an espresso and scone only to further neutralize the last dribbles of testosterone from the remaining dingleberries.

All hail Jeannie Longo, Queen of Cycling.

Mad, Mad Props.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

Overheard 5

"Ya'll goin' to Starbucks?"

-Washington and Kedzie. Shouted as we rolled home kitted up and, apparently, looking especially fruity.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

MTB: Fate's Cruel Hand Has Lifted

I went mountain biking for the first time in about twelve years on Monday. I hung those shoes up long ago because not only was I painfully inept on the technical stuff, but the fully rigid Nishiki Pinnacle I rode made the ride an unbearable mix of arthritic pain and smashed confidence. I also crashed and got dropped alot. Thus my love affair with all things road flowered with unfettered focus.

Anyway, the modern full suspension rig I borrowed for my return to the dirt cast aside all the doubts and inhibitions I held about off road riding. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and surprised myself with the fact that I kept the rubber side down (for the most part) and didn't limp out of the woods ten minutes after everyone else. Had I been riding rigid, like the days of old, I'd have surely suffered the same fate I had back in the bad old days.

In short, full suspension, for me, is the real thing. Some folks whine and smugly complain that suspended bikes are needlessly complex and don't hone handling skills to that "higher" level. Some insinuate rigid superiority through arguments of purity, zen, and simplicity of design. Nuts to that. While rigid bikes have their place, I don't see it as the solution to my needs.

Technology has won this argument. Resoundingly. Though the steady march of progress has certainly had its hand in numerous monstrosities over the years, some good has come of that pitter patter of boots on the ground. It has given me a very real appreciation for mountain biking that I had otherwise embarrassingly despised. And all is, once again, right with the world.