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Campy 11 speed, Olympic Fever, Radiohead

– It’s a big day here at Competitive Cyclist. We’ve made the leap (can we say that?) to Campy 11-speed sales and Dura Ace 7900 sales on our complete bikes and in our gruppo calculator. We’re pretty much sold out of Chorus 10 and Centaur, so they’re gone from our site except for a la carte sales (’til we’re sold out of our on-hand inventory).

We’ve gotten some interesting feedback already, specifically about the pricing of Super Record 11 and Record 11. We need to be really clear about one point: We don’t make these prices up. We swear. Rather we’re experiencing a breakthrough moment with Campagnolo: For the first time EVER in the history of the company, they’re providing dealers an MSRP list for their components. In theory, every Campy dealer in the US will sell 11-speed at the same prices. Our prices here are indeed MSRP, so folks who accuse us of trying to abuse early adopters are, well, wrong. Ditto with Dura Ace 7900. Competitive Cyclist is a card-carrying Campagnolo Pro Shop and Authorized Shimano Internet Dealer, and that means we’re obliged to advertise their components for MSRP. Campy 11 speed and Dura Ace 7900 is mouthwatering stuff, and it’s worth every penny. We just want to make it clear that we don’t make up these prices -- Campy and Shimano do.

– Olympic fever. Do (did?) you have it? Bookmark this link for this winter, when you’re feeling fat and you’re overcome with the urge to do a 5 hour trainer ride. It’s the ENTIRE Men’s Road Race. Yes, all 6.5 hours of it. We’ve gotta give props to NBC for hosting this. That’s a ton of bandwidth. You’ll need to scroll down to the bottom of the page and hit the ‘Mens’ Road Race’ link, not the highlights link, BTW. Or if you want the more abbreviated version, just scroll forward to 5:45 into the race. That’s when the fireworks go crazy. There’s no commentary, by the way, and we dug that.

– FYI in order to see this video you’ll need to download Microsoft Silverlight (don’t worry, the NBC site will prompt you for the download). From what we understand it’s Microsoft’s Flash equivalent, and those of you keen on tech issues & the ways and means by which Microsoft is trying to take over the world, this NY Times article might be of interest. We first downloaded Silverlight this May in order to watch Giro highlights on the RAI website, so don’t feel like you’re victim of an MSNBC conspiracy to get more Microsoft apps on your computer.

Just wondering, do you think is paying attention to Silverlight? Maybe oh maybe they’ll take RAI and NBC’s example and figure out a way to show bike racing without having it freeze up my browser. That is, if still exists. Do they?

– If you don’t have the time or the inclination to watch the race, then make sure at least to read Michael Barry’s write-up of the day. He had an awesome finish (he got 9th), and we’ve gotta say this is probably the best thing written by anyone about the race. An aside -- do you follow Michael’s writing? It shows up both on and in the New York Times. His writing style is really starting to evolve -- there’s an emotional-but-restrained, grateful-but-plaintive quality to it that I’m attracted to. I wasn’t the biggest fan of his Postal Bus book, but I’ve heard he’s got another book up his sleeves. If he writes it in this voice, it’ll be a classic on the scale of Tim Krabbe’s ‘The Rider.’ Great work on all fronts Michael.

– And, in case you were wondering, Cervelo most definitely has Olympic fever.

– Oakley feted Team Spain’s Sammy Sanchez for his gold medal performance in the road race. Photos are here.

– We were in New York City last weekend and by pure happenstance came across a bike shop in the lower east side called Trackstar. God, we love New York. There’s goodness around every corner. The M.O. of Trackstar is simple: All track bikes, all the time. And, no, it’s not packed with crappy fixies with (it’s all the rage, in case you didn’t know) chopped down flat bars. It was full of RACE bikes. Keirin posters on the wall. Campy. Cinelli. Sure, they pay some homage to messenger culture. But the Cinellis and Javelins and Torellis and the rest were sparkling and begged to be thrashed by New York’s Leonard Harvey Nitz-wannabes. You’ll find history, you’ll find fashion, but you’ll find no pretense. They were really cool there. Take the 2nd Avenue stop off the F Train. Get a taste of all things high-flanged, then walk over to the Creperie on Ludlow St for a big snack. God, we love New York.

– Speaking of New York, while we were there we saw Radiohead play at the All Points West music festival. The music was spectacular, and the scene as a whole was reminiscent of seeing a mountaintop stage of the Tour de France. Not unlike Alpe d’Huez or the Tourmalet, countless 10’s of thousands of people camped out all day to score the best seats. But instead of passing the time with cases of Heiniken or Jupiler, there was a blanket of pot smoke that hung over the lawn much to my mouthbreathing delight as thick as Bay Area fog. We were like 150m away from the stage -- Thom Yorke looked like a gyrating stick figure. The music was so awesome that it made up for the distance. Like le Tour, the experience was great despite the throng of humanity. But one way pro bike racing beats Radiohead: No matter how many people show up, you’re at least within arm’s distance for a few blissful moments…