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A little ditty about Jacky Durand

– Reaching way back into the archives to add more to last week’s conversation about Campy brake pad replacement.

– Attentive readers might recall it was almost exactly a year ago that I pooh-poohed the Hipstamatic camera app for the iPhone. It seemed to muck up the main point of photography (composition) in preference for the fancifully random use of filters & lighting trickery. And then I saw this impressive set of photos on the NYT and -- in a fit I’m now accustomed to having -- I felt my heaving wrongness. Added cruelty could come in the form of links to further well-done Hipstamatic-ized photos. Sometimes I impress myself with how little I know.

The ultimate PRO accessorySo, without further ado & fully in the spirit of the season (only 5 days late) The PRO Things I’m Thankful For, including a nod to Hipstamatic:

(1) I’m thankful for those of you who understand the virtue of PRO. An eternal sense of humor is ours.

(2) I’m thankful that the essential PRO accessory costs about $2 and it’s something they don’t sell in the bike shop and it’s something you should have at your desk, in your car, and in the pocket of every (non-cycling) jacket you own. Is anything more PRO than hand-sanitizer?

(3) I’m thankful for my PRO wheels. The tires are pretentious & they’re glued, not taped. The rims aren’t for sale and must be stolen from a service course either just before or after the cobbled classics. The hubs are 2 generations old, back when they still made loose ball bearings. P R O.

PRO wheels

(4) I’m thankful for my PRO muffin recipe. We don’t ride, we train. And fueling ourselves beforehand with these muffins is magical. At first they seemed to be PRO because they don’t use butter and you can use as little as a half-cup of sugar. But in thinking about it, a cup of oil doesn’t exactly cut it as health food but my goodness me they are delicious. Make them PRO by just eating a half of one, since the agony of leaving lots of food on your plate is a signature PRO move.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1/2-3/4 cup brown sugar or regular sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups oats (steel cut are best, not Quaker)
Pre Ride Fuel 1 cup sunflower or canola oil
1-3 bananas
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Mix well

Add 3 eggs, mix more

Mix and add:
1.5 cups of flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

Add and Mix:
1 cup blueberries

Place in a greased muffin pan
Cook for 20-30 min.

(5) I’m thankful that a new year of PRO wintertime training pics are inbound.

– Let’s list some bygone great brands we miss. Maybe they’re dead. Maybe they’re faintly existent -- Heartbeat? Yes. Brain Activity? Not so much… Wolber. Merlin. Calfee. Great, great brands that once held such power. Was anything better than Lemond whipping ass on his Team Z Calfee Lemond? Superheroes roamed the earth back then.

Ridley repaired by Calfee 2Once in a blue moon we check out the Calfee website to see if anything is new. His models haven’t changed much in a decade (nor have the aesthetics of his site, unfortunately.) But he’s stayed busy, it seems. His fixation on bamboo-as-frame-material has gotten him decent press. And our impression is that he does well doing carbon fiber frame repair. Given that sometimes we feel like Competitive Cyclist is a junkyard of crashed & thrashed high-end frames, we decided to put his skills to test.

The first frame we sent was a 2010 Ridley Noah whose downtube got obliterated by high-speed crit crash. For $300 (+ shipping) we got our bike back in riding order. While it was now road-worthy, the inelegance of the patchwork didn’t agree with our sense of beauty. It’s not a criticism of the work Calfee did -- the breakage was bad, and the flattish airfoil shape of the Noah downtube doesn’t allow much in the way of sculpture. But, still, vanity matters…

Pinarello repaired by Calfee 4We then send a Pinarello Prince Carbon whose top tube got speared in shipping (don’t ask). Almost as if to show just how clean his work can be, Calfee repaired the tube so immaculately that further from a few feet away you can’t even notice his repair. It was supremely impressive.

Our conclusion? We never doubted that when it comes to carbon, Craig Calfee in on the top-5 list of the most experienced dudes in the American bike business. There’s no question that he knows what he’s doing. And there’s no question that his repairs are reasonably priced. The X factor, it seems, is how much you care about cosmetics. The finish work on your bike dictates a lot. 1k and 3k weave leads to less, um, ‘scarring’ after a repair, while chunkier carbon latticework seems to fare worse. It appears to matter, too, where the damage is, and what the shape of the tube is. If you’re facing the sad task of trashing a KIA carbon frameset, you should give Calfee a call, especially if you aren’t overly obsessed on a flawless appearance in your athletic goods .

– There’s a reason why I bailed on law school the week before orientation. It’s not litigation anymore, it’s a Mensa test .

– Boulder is the Hamptons of endurance sports. Amateurs doping to haul ass up Flagstaff is like Manhattan milfs doing Botox for the cocktail circuit, no? Chuck Coyle, you’re pure Americana and I don’t resent a bit of it. Desperation to stay young: We’re all guilty in our own way.

Obvious benefits of I’affaire Coyle include Dean of East Coast CX and all-around awesome dude A. Hodges Myerson going into the genealogy of American dopage. And Steve Tilford (he, in fact, is not desperate to stay young but rather (like Ned Overend) will be dropping everyone at age 80) does some fine Coyle-blogging, too. (Also, if anyone can dig up a photo of Steve Tilford in his early-2000’s Team Jogmate Pepto-Bismol-inspired kit, I’ll buy you lunch. As I recall, that was the ugliest kit of all time. Worse than Footon-Servetto!)

– And, speaking of doping, is it OK to plead Lance Doping Saga exhaustion? Nobody cares about the Barry Bonds case anymore. Can’t we do the same with Lance? When I read absurd ravings like this from the Branch Davidian-like Lance haters, my apathy gets that much more acute.

– And let’s finish with a song (sung to ‘Jack and Diane’ by John Cougar Mellencamp) --

A little ditty
About Jacky Durand --
Opportunistic Frenchman doing the best that he can.

200k break
In 100 degree heat
Pantaniesque bandana make him look so neat.
And Jacky say --
‘Oh yeah, life goes on’
Caught with 2k to go by Team Telekom

‘Oh yeah, life goes on’
Caught with 2k to go by Team Telekom.

Some better times for Jacky here: