Friday, June 27, 2008

Tombs and King Generator

Couple new records featuring Blackbox impresario and all around master of heaviness Mike Hill. Tombs is his new post Anodyne/Versoma band and King Generator is more of a project(I guess?) KG (not #5) give you 8 minutes and 18 seconds of fury. Fast and furious hardcore. Flirts with D-Beat and power violence but not at all generic. All but one song clock in under a minute. Features Dave Witte on drums so that should get your attention. One sided lp with a cool etching on the blank side. 1000 pressed. 300 on color so record nerds get hunting. Also comes with a CD version so you can get it right up on your IPOD with no fuss. Tankcrime put this one out.

Tombs is up next. 7 tracks on black box recordings. Definitely some dark and heavy music. Not to far removed from Versoma in that it has a melodic edge. That is what kicks this up to the next level. Heavy is good, but heavy, depressive, and memorable makes for repeated listenings. 4th track is some instrumental damage that has a kinds 4 days in the studio with no sleep vibe-kinda Zen Arcade style. Finishes off heavy and pummeling. Graphics are suitably dark and claustrophobic. A winner. Keep an eye out for a new record on Relapse!

Giro 01 Stage 8 Some Photos part one.

I guess it was the 2001 Giro that I got to see. A stage that departed from Montecatini Terme a cool spa town northwest of Florence.
It was the year Julio Perez knocked out his teeth. Simoni won and did that stupid dye job on his head.. It was also the year of the big drug raid in San Remo that got Frigo kicked out and had riders jumping out of windows to escape the cops.

These photos were all from a disposable camera that I dragged around. I found the Liquigas and Mercantone Uno buses and gear trailers, but the pictures did not come out so sweet.
I remember emptying the camera on this corner as the race jumped off. If I remember quickly, I was out of film when Jan Ullrich rolled out-after all the team cars with a couple Telekom riders to bring him up to the race.

Wish I had a digital cam back then but here are some of the shots.

Lotto were riding GTs and from the looks of this team car most of the spare wheels were Paves? Unless they were on the ugly green michelins. Can't remember. Rik Verbrugghe killed the prologue this year and lotto was in pink for a minute.

Pantani was there(look hard, I am not a great photog. I think his spare bike is up front on the team car shot)

Mapei was riding for Garzelli this year.

Finally would it be a Giro without Saeco? This was they heyday of the Red Train and Super Mario!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

return of the seatbag

When I first started riding road bikes, I had a giant seat bag that could hold tools,tubes,food, a chance of clothes, etc. I should have zip tied a small Baileyworks bag under there-it would have looked cooler. Overtime and trial and error, I gained confidence. I knew what things I really needed and discovered that on most rides under 60 miles, you could fit all you needed to be self sufficient in your jersey pockets.
I developed a real attitude problem about this. I remember an aborted blog entry about what looked good on a bike frame. "Bottles and a frame pump are acceptable. Period. Seat Packs were a necessary evil and everything else sucked." Was the jist of it.
Well after this spring/summer of mechanical dicontent, I have broken the saddle bag back out on most rides. I am carrying more tubes and tools. Ready for war. I am too busy to have a ride cut short cause I floated out the door without tire levers or allen wrenches. Or with the crucial extra tube in the pocket of a jersey lying on my basement floor. Thanks to my new found ability to make bike malfunction, I have had to learn how to keep them rolling and the seat bag is my ally.
Welcome back.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Where's Waldo

This is why I am amazed by Graham Watson. I was just standing on a corner and I couldn't really get the stars in the middle of the picture. He can do it hanging off the back of a motorbike. Look closely and try and play the Italian version of Where's Waldo aka Where's Simoni? Bonus points if you can pick out Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio. Should be easy since there aren't too many dudes in this incredibly well composed picture......

A few more old, blurry Giro Photos will be up by the weekend.

Colnago Part Two

I took this picture in Italy-Florence I think (Firenze to the locals) about 7 years ago. Is this a legit Colnago? Can't say. Is this the weirdest Colnago mixte frame or Colnago knock-off bootleg Mixte frame? Yes! Also nice attempt at some Cannondale worthy shock action on the top tube(s)???? Is this the worst lock ever on a Colnago? Probably.
I just got a bunch of old photos from this trip scaned so expect some terrible 2003 Giro photos to follow.

Modular Monocoque

Colnago must have been intimidated with all of Campy's new acronyms because with their new CX-1 frame they have introduced some real unique marketing double speak.
The frame is a "modular monocoque". ????? You can clearly see lugs behind the BB and at the seat tube junction that look like standard Colnago design. I guess the front end is one-piece with the seat and chain stays bonded on. Why not say monocoque front triangle or something simple? Why "modular monocoque"? Never mind that "modular" makes me think of some hideous modular home on the back of a flat bed -not the Italian image of speed they are hunting for.

Colnago seem to be struggling to stay releveant with all the other high end carbon bikes coming out and gobbling up market share, but they should stick to making unreal frames, not reinventing the English language and making frames that seem to mimic other carbon frame makers that are getting more attention.
I wanted a C-40 couldn't afford one, wanted a C-50 couldn't afford one. Started to get nervous when they introduced the HP chain stays and the Extreme Power models, but no worries-still couldn't afford one. Then came the "affordable" Colnago CLX and the whole "can it be a Colnago if it is built in Taiwan debate". No comment on that subject. So I guess it is a moot point whether I like the new design since it is unlikely you will see me on a CX-1 with full Super Record and Ultra Bora wheels anytime soon, but still don't make me insane at 6:00AM with your marketing double-speak.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ice Cream Cobra

"Moreover, I have not fattened up one gram because when it is hot I don't have hunger, I have only ice cream and cold drinks."

A lot of people hate Riccardo Ricco cause he runs his mouth like Simoni on too many espressos. I have always found that amusing, he is 24. You can' expect much sensible to come out of a twenty four year olds mouth, but with the above quote he has pushed even me too far He eats only ice cream and doesn't get fat?? Fuck you, youngster. As you get older and seemingly turn into flab despite you best efforts, comments like this make you want to run anyone under 30 into the curb.
But maybe I am looking at this the wrong way. If ice cream and cold drinks keep RR in top form, maybe I need to adopt his training regime. An all ice cream diet shoud make vomitting during intervals that much easier.
It would be interesting to see him at the Tour. I would guess he coud snatch a stage win, but at his age back to back Grand Tours seems like a stretch.
Of course he diplomatically noted on his second Tour ride, 'Last year I was 20th in my first crack at it, so this year, I’m sure things will go even better....” A the melodious sounds of a humble rider.

Monday, June 23, 2008

TDF IMax outtakes.

Imax camera at the Tour was pretty over the top. Saw this at the Museum of Science when it came out. Hamilton pretty much made this movie with the broken collarbone and then ruined it with the shrinking twin before it could even come out. They managed to refocus the movie on Jimmy Casper at still keep it somewhat interesting.

Either ways some cool footage.

Brian Walsby blog and site.

Brian Walsby is an OG artist/musician. Think all the way back to Scared Straight(. From the roots of US hardcore to the emergence of "indie rock" (WWax,Willard), he has been involved. Think proto sludge-aka SnakeNation!!!!(Where you ever in a band with Mike Dean?)
If you were around in the 80s, you saw his art in MRR, Flipside, and on record and zine covers. He continues to do comic books that are fucking amazing and hilarious.
He has a site and a blog. Check them out.

TDF. Random Thoughts

Last Years TDF Top Twenty
1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 91.00.26
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor - Lotto 0.23
3 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 0.31
4 Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Team CSC 7.08
5 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 8.17
6 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 11.37
7 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile Team 12.18
8 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 12.25
9 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 14.14
10 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 14.25

So no Contador and Leipheimer leaves Cadel with a big cushion-six and half minutes to his next rival

2 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor - Lotto 0.23
4 Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Team CSC
5 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
6 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 11.37
7 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile Team 12.18
8 Yaroslav Popovych (now rides for Evans 12.25
9 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 14.14
10 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 14.25
11 Mauricio Soler (Col) Barloworld
13 David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
17 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC

Soler, Arroyo, and Schleck move up when you take out the rider who can't contest this year.

Other interesting names from last year's top 30

19 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) Lampre - Fondital now ag2r or is it agributel?
25 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Team CSC now Slipstream
32 Kanstantin Siutsou (Blr) Barloworld -now High Road

Where do you factor in Cunego?

It's hard to feel out, but seems unlikely that Evans,Sastre,Valverde won't be on the podium. Kirchen is right up their if his form lasts. Cunego? Can he time trial well enough to defend himself?
The closet guy to the podium last year was six and a half minutes away. Will gaps like that happen this year or will it be closer like the Giro? Seems things will be much tighter this year.
The first three stages will most likely end in sprints but are lumpy enough to spring a breakaway. ITT on stage 4 will possibly impose some order, but anyone could be in Yellow those first three days which will make it super hectic and hopefully not with any race defining crashes. Stage six should have some breakaway battling to establish a KOM lead. Then just before Bastille day on stage nine,we get some high mountains. Followed by some real fireworks inducing mountains on the 14th! Race should be splitting up here pretty nicely. Cunego will have to strike hard here to establish a cushion against the better time trialists.
Cannot Wait.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Top Tens Dauphine vs Tour de Suisse

Dauphine Top 10
1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 27.34.39
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto 0.39
3 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana 1.24
4 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 2.47
5 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 3.19
6 Cyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 4.01
7 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 4.25
8 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Lampre 4.29
9 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Cofidis 4.45
10 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Quick Step 5.13

Tour de Suisse Top Ten

1 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas 35.43.46
2 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana 0.49
3 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 1.55
4 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre 2.11
5 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Team High Road 2.37
6 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team CSC 2.57
7 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Team High Road 2.58
8 Markus Fothen (Ger) Gerolsteiner 4.08
9 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Milram 4.18
10 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank 4.26

Do these tune up races matter? Sucess at the Dauphine usually translates to trouble in the last week of the tour. Armstrong won it twice during years he won the tour. Leipheimer won it in 06 when he finished the tour 13th, Moreau won it twice-never finishing the acompanying tour better than 37th. Other 20th century winners include Inigo Landaluze and Tyler Hamilton. So no real predictive element here.
As for the Tour de Suisse, hard to say. It never seemed to help Ullrich who won in 06 and 04. Additional winners include Karpets(07), Aitor Gonzalez(05), Vinokourov(03), and Zulle(02). Armstrong, Carmenzind,Cassagrande, and Garzelli round out a real rouge's gallery of dopers.
Either way names like Valverde, Evans, Cunego, and Kirchen are sure to be heard at the tour. Shleck, Dessel, Gesink,and Lovkvist as well. Milram's Knees always seems to turn up near the sharp end of races, but I don't know if he is going to the tour or not.
Ster Elektrotoer shows the sprinters are sharp-at least Cavendish and, too bad for him, Boonen. Now a few weeks of National Championships and waiting for the big show to kick off.