– Needless to say, we were bummed by last week’s announcement that the Competitive Cyclist Racing Team wasn’t chosen for the Tour of California. But we still have a huge amount of respect for the phenomenon AEG has created with the race. Outside of the Tour de France, it’s the most important race to the American bike industry. So while we would’ve loved to take part this year, we’ll derive plenty of benefits from the week just the same.
The situation is no different from the annual wildcard drama with the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia. Unfortunately there are more worthy wildcard teams than there are available spots. It’s heartbreaking for both the riders and the sponsors when they don’t get invited. But anyone who has followed the sport for long knows that this is sponsorship reality.
In the meantime, our team is giving its all and no photo proves it more than this incredible shot from Veloimages. So far for this season, this gets our nod for 2012 photo of the year.
– A follow up from last week regarding Bradley Wiggins’ after-race use of the turbo trainer to somehow ward off illness. It reminds me of a quote from the best book ever written about road racing, Geoffrey Nicholson’s ‘Great Bike Race.’ Luis Ocana’s occupational disease is now Wiggo’s.
– Another member of the Hall of Fame for hyped riders who never seemed to reach the fullness of their potential had much more enviable hair than Wiggo, plus a better use of neon. Name that rider!
– Another nominee for the Hall goes to Tucson’s Manimal. Cut-off blue jeans, back hair thick and bouncy, riding the most bare-bones machine ever to see a paceline. He owns the McCain Loop Rd. And, just like Wiggins and Quaranta, he can drop you at will.
– Kids once dreamt of playing in the World Series or racing in the Tour de France. But today we live in the GoPro era when nothing is appealing as ‘going viral.’ Adrenaline-fueled death is easier to document than ever before and it’s all done in the name of showmanship, which is why wingsuit videos seem so tired by now.
But here’s one exception. Ignore the wingsuiting, though. Instead, pay attention to the road they fly over. It makes the Stelvio look like a false flat.
– The most delightful part of Fabian Cancellara’s win on the gorgeous white roads of Tuscany’s Strade Bianche? He did it old school by wearing an analog wristwatch.
And if you don’t have the budget for Spartcus’ IWC, then there’s always the Paul Smith tribute to the sport we love.
– Seeing Cancellara in the early spring races this year has had an unexpected effect on me this year. It’s triggered an irresistible urge to cook Rösti, the purported national dish of Switzerland. Here, however, it’s still a work in progress. Due to its appearance and texture, my kids write off Rösti as mere hash browns. The only trick I’ve learned through trial-and-error is to prevent wateriness by slicing the potatoes, rather than using a food processor. Send tips if you have success.
– Camille McMillian, the London-based photographer known for his work with Rouleur and in ‘Le Métier’ is now involved in an iPad-based cycling project called ‘The Collarbone.’ It’s an app that allows you to browse through collections of photos with an option to buy prints.
The functionality of the app is perhaps a bit underdeveloped. When you choose ‘Buy Print’ the app doesn’t reveal a price or any practical purchase details. Instead it simply opens up your email client and auto-composes a message to The Collarbone declaring your interest and asking for additional information. Clunky, yes, but I hope it brings economic benefit to Camille given his lengthy and no doubt less-than-lucrative devotion to documenting the sport of cycling.
– And while we’re on the subject of apps, has anyone checked out ‘Flanders Classics’ yet? ‘Tis the season.
– More old school:
– One bike shop keen about preserving recent racing history is San Francisco’s American Cyclery. The store is so close to Golden Gate Park that you can almost hear the clinking of bocce balls and the lowing of the bison. It’s a small place, but next time you’re in the city you may want to stop in. The bikes and jerseys hanging in the corners make it like a quick museum tour.