Friday, May 2, 2008

Black Campy Record Hubs

These things are hideous and look so cheap. Campy Record hubs use to be the pinnacle of refinement and performance. This new look is unacceptable. Where is the cool D-ring on the opposite side of the skewer? Where is the polished to perfection mirror'd finish????
Don't even get me started comparing these to High Flange Record hubs-that's like contrasting a Ford Focus with a Ferrari.

Giro Anticipation

This photo spread from the Gazzetta della Sport of the Plan de Corones got me stoked for the Giro. The epic stages planned for the Giro and Vuelta rarely work out, but they guarantee you are paying attention.
Should be an interesting Giro. Perhaps a changing of the guard will be in order as there are a lot of young and old riders mixing with many potential winners sitting it out (Schelcks, Cunego, Sastre, etc). DiLuca/Simoni/Garzelli vs Ricco/??/??? who know yet. But the first grand tour of the year will hopefully continue to turn a new leaf.

When things go wrong

It is hard enough to balance work and riding when everything is running smoothly, but when the bike malfunctions it can really push you to the edge. Riding with Billy last night. New squeak and creak is getting louder which is annoying as hell. I assume it must be the new cleats or something shoe related. Half way up a hill, I discover my left leg wiggling around. Look down and how about that, the crank arm is loose. Awesome. No tools. Stop and hand tighten it, and soft pedal home. One legged pedaling drills are not so cool when you can't switch legs. Get home, fix it, and ride back to work to get my car. Eat dinner and drink beer, but that would be too easy, how about a pinch flat a mile from your car-did I mention the no tools thing includes no pump, no tube! Good job! I manage to ride the softening tire almost all the way back to work, but of course have to walk for a while.
Unlike Bjarne above, I managed not to throw my bike onto the Mass Pike, bu the idea did cross my mind.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Immortal - Call Of The Wintermoon

The fact that this has been parodied dozens of times, can only indicate its transcendent brilliance.
If this isn't enough search for the Grim and Frostbitten Kingdoms video.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Torche Meanderthal

Out of the din comes the melody, Torche may not be able to translate their records into magic on stage, but they continue to push the sludge pop or metal pop envelope on their new record Meanderthal on Hydrahead. They are not suffering from any sophomore slump (although a 7 song ep is technically the sophomore release we will ignore that fact for the sake of my analogy).
I didn't think the phrase meanderthal was used outside of Brighton and never would thought I would see it as a song or lp title, but who knew?
These guys mine a pretty weird combo of metal and pop that is super catchy and makes for good driving music or working on the bike music. I can only imagine the superlatives that Aquarius is going to create to hurl at this record-which it deserves 100%. (Check here for proof) I was afraid that they were heading down the prog rock revival road with the opener,but they pull it back together on "Grenades". When the rock out in a more straight metal fashion a la "Sandstorm" they are good, but they achieve the next level when the up the hooks on tunes like "Healer" and "Across the Shields". Those two tracks are fucking epic as is "Fat Waves" which goes from poppy to almost bitch magnet level rock (think a better produced ben-hur) The rest of the record has a pretty Melvin'ish feel and is killer but those catchier songs are sick. The slow it down a drop it for the Floor fans near the end.
Artwork isn't much to write home about, but chances are you'll hear this coming out of shiny little Ipods not CD players so who cares
Grab it and rock out. Summer's coming

Palmer/Sturbridge live and uncut

450 miles driving and 50 miles of racing. Maybe a hotel room would have been a good idea. Palmer race on Sat was probably as close to pro-style as I will get a neutralized start and neutral support from SRAM (aka we just bought Zipp-drool at our station wagons covered in wheels....) It is sad that the only way I will have Zipps on my bike anytime soon is if I flat in a race where there doing support....
Palmer was killer. Awesome 3-4 mile climb, uphill finish. Got dropped by the front group but battled back with a dude from NH (good work!), got caught by another chase group who wouldn't work! WTF? There are 8 of us, we can get back on. The battle for 21st could be in full effect if you would work. Once we hit the finishing climb, people were going backwards in a hurry. I managed a mid-pack 37th and got some nice cramps in my calves catching and passing mister 38.
Sunday was not quite as nice weather wise. Overcast with a touch of rain. The course was longer, but not as hard. The bunch was all over the brakes and bunching up like crazy. Yellow line rule got enforced to a couple dudes horror. Thumbs up to the Marshall. Guys who blast down the outside of a group and then push in seem to cause most of the accidents I've seen this year. I dropped out after the 1st lap. I felt OK, but the group was all together and really twitchy. Felt like a crash waiting to happen, so I chose prudence over valor and soft pedalled back to the car. Billy battled it out with the young ones and got to see the crash that marked the finish of the 35+4/5s. That made me feel smarter for bailing.
I am still mulling over the accuracy of my observation on the inverse relationship between Cervelos/Zipps and bike handling skills that seems to rule the old man cat 5 world here. More research maybe necessary.
I am bummed I forgot my camera, cause there was the best ever front yard sign for someone selling "NightcrawlerZ". Hell Yeah.
Big thumbs up to Michael Norton and everyone who worked to put on this killer weekend of racing!

Drinking beer after a weekend of driving and racing, how appropriate.