Saturday, July 5, 2008

Stage One

Nice to be in a house with cable for stage one! Much better start than the standard prologue. Valverde's bike? That is an over the top Italian color scheme more that Spanish,but it has been a while since a true contender has been Spanish national champion. At least the yellow will match his jersey tomorrow. I would have been too superstitious to ride that bike myself.
That super fast downhill run into the right turn on the bridge was sick. Valverde's attack was gnarly-massive acceleration. That was as impressive as Boonen on the Roubaix Velodrome this spring. Top 30 of the stage had all the GC contenders and most of the sprinters and strong men represented. Nice. Tomorrow should be just as hectic.
McEwen is on the Campy 11? He must have been riding it for a while, if he is running it at the tour. No Super-Record for him, though. 3 bikes, 3 groups. Although Velonews said he rode 10 speed today. Extra 11 speed info here
And speaking of Ridleys. The bike featured here doesn't look much like the bike Cadel is riding here....
The giant logos on this one are a bit much. Just as bad as the new Giant TCR Advanced. If you are going to cover a frame with giant logos, can you at least have the downtube ones line up? That ad in the new Velonews looks terrible.
Saunier Duval went heavy on the white to prevent yellow jersey confusion with their team kit. Would have been cooler if they went pink like Once did.
Soler came to grief but still looks better than that Bianchi color scheme.
Hinault looked skinner than usual shaking hands with Valverde. He must really be back riding. Watch out Eddy!
Since when did New England get the NW weather??? Overcast and scattered showers for what 10 days now? Cranky.
Campy 10 speed stuff already getting marked down on the interweb. Nice!

Friday, July 4, 2008


Go ride a bike and watch fireworks!

Reason number by 2000 why Jens Voigt rules

"....sometimes the attack is the best defense and that will be my job". "I would be delighhted if Bjarne says 'Hey, Jens we need a little chaos and stress in the peloton so you go today' I'm looking forward to that" I can only hope Jens gets to fly in the 1st week.

One day to go

Hold your doping comments for the moment and think back to this attack. Unreal moment.

Hopefully the mountains this year will provide some equally compelling( and drug free) moments

Bike Blog Round Up

4th of July weekend. Go ride a bike. But if you have any spare time check these out.
Bicylce Design showed a cool self serve bike parts machine here. Very interesting.
Cool interview with Scott Sunderland here. Riding advice,humor, and a ghetto-tech innovation.
Already metioned the JV interview, but check out some of the other things at the times online. Such as this Chris Boardman super secret track parts article. He is really starting to look like Mr.Bean.

More cool food and parts list for the tour at the slipstream blog. Full on drool as you read about all those parts....

Super funny regrets list here.

And you might think you are deep in the bike game. You might think you are rolling deep with gear and tools but do you have this? Come on. You know you are deeepp in the game when you have a 100 meter roll of this hanging around! You wouldn't want to use just any tin wire to tye and soder your spokes would you. Before you do watch out Jobst Brandt says it doesn't help. Tell that to every old Belgian at Roubaix!

And Fitchburg-Longso starts tomorrow. So keep an eye on some racing in Mass.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Getatchew Mekuria, the Ex, and Guests- Moa Anbessa

Ethio-punk? I was pretty skeptical when this cd got handed to me, but it came with a strong thumbs up from a reliable source. The Ex team up with an Ethiopian saxophonist? Sounds like the anarchist Graceland to me. I have also slept on the whole African/Ethiopique renaissance of music and rereleases, so I didn't have a good frame of reference outside of what I would here on college radio. But skeptical or not, you gotta let the music do the talking.
11 tracks some(5 or 6) with vocals. It is a pretty amazing combination. The Ex chug along and bash out some solid work that meshes well with the horns. Surprisingly well.
Several of the tracks are well known Ethiopian classics that the Ex reworked and added vocals to. The whole adding vocals thing is another can of worms that was more likely to go wrong than right, but even this is done well. I think the horns and more traditional songs kept the Ex coloring inside the lines more than they might usually. Some songs have almost a Morphine or Tom Waits sound to them.
I am looking forward to seeing the documentary about this as apparently the whole collaboration took place with little common language between the musicians.

And as if all this isn't enough they are on tour and playing the Middle East on 08/15.Check it.

This kind of makes me wonder what would come out of a Fugazi/Trouble Funk collaboration or something......

2 days to go ....

The sprinters.... No Boonen, Bennati, and no Pettachi makes a McEwen vs Cavendish showdown look likely. Who will spoil the party? Cooke, Hunter,Hushvod,Ciolek, O'Grady,Dean,Zabel,Lancaster,Nibali,Steegmans, or Freire?
Never mind the guys that can win in from a breakaway or steal it from the sprinters- Backtedt,Voigt,Ballan,Pozzatto, Flecha,Hoste,Schumacher,etc,
The countdown begins. At least by skipping the prologue this year, you get right to the action. Prologue has always felt anti-climatic to me.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Weller and Winehouse?

This lacks the simmering menace of the original version, but is a pop culturee moment none the less.

3 days to go

It should be more wide open but Valverde,Evans,Menchov,Cunego and Sastre are likely to be on or near the podium. Last chance for a lot of these guys. Would love to see Sastre get the win, but don't know if he has it

I am hoping for some good performances from Ricco,Trent Lowe, Ryder, the Schlecks, Lovkvist, Masskant, Terpesta, etc/

Slipstream's magic media touch

Cool interview with JV here. Paul Kimmage does the interview. Definitely dancing around the doping issue. What amazes me is both how much media attention they get and how positive it is. Whoever there PR people are they deserve a raise. Whether it's Millar on HBO or drooling coverage over their use of ice-vests, they seem to have mastered the art of promotion. They even have a dodgedt "the what the hell happened to Maggie's Zipps mystery" from Roubaix. Outside of the Giro Team Time Trial,Route de Sud, and good performances from their young guns, they don't have many results relative to their performance, but they still keep you interested.
I guess the JV interview will be continued so keep an eye out.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I'm doping free...

Cunego has made a big move in support of clean cycling. Most atheletes have foundations or charities and Cunego has started the "I'm doping free" site/movement. It's not doperssuck, but still a pretty cool move from a top level cyclist.
What is a little stronger endorsement of his beliefs, is a yet to be unveiled "I'm doping free" tattoo that he is sporting. Anyone remember the great Dan O'Mahoney's Poison Free tattoo or any number of great X-edge tattoo? I can only hope it is not the same as his site's logo....
If you check his interview over at Gazzetta della Sport, you can see that he has done the mandatory Italian/Lampre grand tour bleaching of his hair.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Quality Audio

While digging around for Bob Evans video online, I stumbled across Dave G's new band with his wife,Tess-Quality Audio Noticed he was rocking a Milram cap in one photo and a Flanders cap in another. A couple other bike photos, and that was all it took for the intrepid reporters of WWDIS to spot another victim for the cycling/music interview series. Luckily Dave and Tess were cool enough to answer some questions. Read on.

WWDIS:What came first music or bikes?
Dave-Probably Music. My first real bike was around 2nd Grade, and I was listening to and getting early doses of music before that.
Tess. – I started out in grade school with a Schwinn cruiser all pimped out with lowrider chrome accessories that I bought with my babysitting money. My 6 older siblings hooked me up with their music early, handing down their Neil Young, Alice Cooper, and War records. By 5th grade, me and my friends would listen to rock tapes and shine up our bikes in my garage.

WWDIS:All time favorite records?
Tess. – too hard to pick, but let’s see. “The Kids Are Alright” by The Who, “Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables” by Dead Kennedys, “Love Supreme” by John Coltrane, any Bebel Gilberto, “Jersey Barrier” by Bob Evans, “Are You Driving Me Crazy?” by Seam, “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath, “A Boy Named Charlie Brown” by Vince Guaraldi Trio, and “101 Italian Hits” by Chinchilla.
Dave – “Ben Hur” - Bitch Magnet, “English Settlement” – Xtc, “Nook” – The Notwist, “One Step Beyond” – Madness, “Aja” – Steely Dan (Tess. Don’t hate me!), “Everything Wrong is Imaginary” – The Lilys, “Fantastic Planet” – Failure, “Sensual World” – Kate Bush, “The Flowers of Romance” – Pil, “With the Quickness” – Bad Brains, “Mezzanine” – Massive Attack, “Dope Smoker” – Sleep, “Spiderland” – Slint (but of course, we owe it all to these kids).

WWDIS:Current favorites?
Tess. – any Beck or Kristin Hersh, “Lambs” by Jucifer, “The Con” by Tegan And Sarah, “Tijuana Sessions Vol. 3” by Nortec Collective.
Dave – Everything by The Lilys, “The Biz” – The Sea & Cake, The Bird and the Bee, The Radio Dept., “Secrets of the Lost Satellite” – Ken Andrews

WWDIS:Best live band(s) you've seen
Tess. – quick list: Big Country, 999, Slint, L7, Massive Attack, Throwing Muses, The Gits, Sahara Hot Nights, Chavez, Madness, Miles Davis at the Hollywood Bowl, Athlete, The Henry Clay People, Samiam, Low Vs Diamond, The Lilys.
Dave – Melt Banana, Massive Attack, Slint, Butthole Surfers, Bongwater, Rein Sanction, Kristen Hersh (Her last tour was amazing!), Bitch Magnet, Johnboy, Helmet, Dead Can Dance.

WWDIS:Bands before Quality Audio?
Dave- My first “real” band was Bob Evans. We were a post-punk/hardcore/thrash whatever you want to call it that put out records in the 90’s. After that, I was in a band called Raoul with my wife and Kirk Jamieson in Seattle. We released a few demos. I have been doing a recording project with a longtime friend (and fellow bike maniac) called Rebuttal, which is on hiatus at the moment, but we will put more stuff out eventually. We have released 5 cds over the last decade.
Tess. – I started in LA garage punk, then headed to the Northwest for Seattle-based rock fuck stuff, which included Danger Gens, a Throwing Muses meets Babes In Toyland outfit (who we played with a few times), Algae, and Bobbitt (a cross-breeding of metal and post-punk—new metal, I guess).

WWDIS:How did Quality Audio start?
Dave – My wife and I started this project as a vehicle to write and produce music from our own recording studio. Our focus is mostly on recording, though we are rehearsing for some LA shows down the road. Tess. and I have been collaborating since our marriage, which is going on 14 years now. We basically hang out all the time, and it made sense to start this project once Tess. finished her master’s degree this past spring.

WWDIS:Where were you a messenger?
Dave - I was a messenger in Seattle. Lots of rain, steep hills, good times.

WWDIS:What were you riding then? Fixed, geared, etc?
Dave – I was riding a funky Sakai hybrid at the time. It was a funky demo model frame I picked up when I worked for them. Fixed gear would have killed me with the hills, though I did see a few crazy messengers riding them.

WWDIS:What are you both riding now?
Dave – I ride a LeMond steel frame road bike and an old Bianci road bike, which I am in the process of turning into a fixed gear. I am not the best wrencher out there.
Tess. – I have this Giant hybrid-like ride—kind of road bike meets cruiser. Her name is Esmeralda. Henrietta La Chainlink, my main ride, is a steel frame, 3 speed Electra cruiser—a totally tough bici—holds her own in LA traffic and fucked up roads. I love it.

WWDISDo you race?
Dave – Nope. Do alley cat races count? (Absolutely-the ed)
Tess. – When we lived in Seattle, Dave did the annual Dead Baby race and other Seattle messenger races. My band Bobbitt played at the after party of a dead baby with Tad’s post-TAD band Hog Molly. Bobbitt was a total bike band, as Tonja, the lead singer, is a bici chick, too. We did things like organized an alley cat to end at my b-day bash show one year and gave bike gear to the winner.

WWDIS:Favorite bike past/present/future?
Dave – Probably my LeMond Tourmelet is my favorite bike. It is so tough and comfortable, great for long rides and can take the punishment of city riding.
Tess. – My first cruiser – she was red.

WWDIS:Favorite music on the bike?
Dave – I never listen to music when I ride. I live in LA and my full attention is on not getting run over by a giant Escalade. I prefer to be with my thoughts, I feel like on the bike is a place I can block out the rest of the world and get some good thinking done.
Tess. – ditto. It’s fucking balls out riding out here, but if you ride safe, it is totally fun and easy to navigate LA drivers, whom I’ve found to be very accommodating when I connect with them and let them know what I am doing.

WWDIS:Campy or Shimano?
Dave – Shimano but I would rather have campy. Maybe someday I will have the dream bike, but for now it is more utilitarian for me.

WWDIS:What would your dream bike be?
Tess. – I have mine!
Dave – Bellesi Steel frame, single speed, I have gone to heaven.

WWDIS:Favorite rides?
Dave - In Seattle it was the loop around Lake Washington. Maybe 60 plus miles, but if you do not map out your route it could kill you with the hills. Beautiful scenery and about half of it is on trails. Right now I am in LA, and I love climbing to Griffith Observatory for some hills and an amazing view of the city. I also love to ride on the Bellona Creek Wetlands trail which goes from Culver City to the beach, and then I swing into Venice Beach for some people watching and then back through Santa Monica back to Hollywood.
Tess. – Our night ride through West Hollywood to The Coronet (rest in peace as of 6/08) and El Carmen for a post-recording reposado night cap. The short ride to La Brea tar pits via hilly Curson to play bocce is a fun addiction, as are the all-day rides through LA in and out of the back streets.

WWDIS:Cyclo-core? Do you want to elaborate on this concept?
Tess. – “Cycling-core,” is actually what we call it J. It is an inside joke that has made its way into our vocabulary. I use it when people ask what we sound like. Basically, it is an inside joke on the too-serious use of music genre neologisms (“emotronic” for example). I think it is adorable how rockstars-in-training can be very precious about describing their sound—the concoctions almost negate themselves, which is just absurdist humor for me. Case in point: I love the list of choices Myspace gives you when you set up a music page—I change ours periodically because its fun.

So there you have it. Keep an eye out for new songs by QA and dig around and check out their older projects! Definitely stoked I stumbled onto this folks and things like this make myspace worthwhile!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

National Championships

Where to start. Valverde's win confirms he has some good form, but wih Caisse d'Epargne having 14 guys in the race, one of them should have one. What is crazy is Oscar Rock Racing Sevilla in second only 1 second away from the win?????? How long will he stay with La Roc Familia? If Valverde can hold this form and avoid his endless stream of bad luck in France, he will be hard to beat.
In Belgium we have J├╝rgen Roelandts and yes like you I had to google that name to look for results. He is 23 and this is his first win of the year. Nice one! Boonen in 5th. Sadly Tom Steels rode this as his last race and finished 30th
France's champion will be Nicolas Vogondy for the 2nd time. Big win for Agributel.
And in a huge suprise, Lance Armstrong's nemesis,Filippo Simeoni gets the win in Italy! At 37 years old that is a huge win-beating youngsters like Visconti and Pozzatto.
David Millar will be returning to Argyle for the tour as Robert Hayles took the win inG Great Britian
Wegman for Germany. Frank Schleck for Luxemborg. Lars Boom for Holland? Apparently he isn't just a young cyclocross sensation

CSC and Asatana seem to have the most riders winning championships and Slipstream have the most guys returning to their traditional argyle.