– Welcome to June 27. It’s end of the month; end of the quarter; and, for some companies, end of the fiscal year. Can you feel the desperation? Thankfully, we don’t feel it here. That is, we didn’t until a supplier of ours inadvertently CC’d me on this email. The names are blurred to protect the innocent, etc —
That tape is so cheap it makes you want to do what?
– Rabobank’s Laurens Ten Dam wasn’t just King of the Mountains at the 2011 Tour de Suisse. He role-played as full-on mountain man, as in Ozarks or Appalachia. One word for him: Hirsute.
– The best thing written lately about the violent mania of training for bike races was (as perhaps should be expected) not written about bikes at all. Never has cycling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu seemed so close. It’s a short story called ‘Letter From Cambridge’ by J.D. Daniels, and it’s in the Fall 2010 Paris Review (#194). Unfortunately you can’t find the story on the web anywhere. You need to buy the issue. At $12, your entertainment ROI will be substantial.
If you require further evidence of the similarity between the confrontation inherent to bike racing and that within martial arts, look no farther than the purported current fascination of the ex-PRO who, arguably, is America’s all-time most underappreciated bike racer. It’s Chann McRae. Apparently his nickname was ‘Moonwalker’ back in his Mapei days, but more importantly he top-10’d both the World Championship Road Race and the Tour of Lombardy more than once. He was ferocious on a bike, and now in his post-riding life he’s apparently equally mad for MMA training. Tapout!
– Late June is when the season of oppression begins here. A wet blanket of summertime heat weighs inescapably. Pedaling from a stoplight qualifies as an interval. Hill repeats are unthinkable. Training wanes, and it rekindles the love of sightseeing by bike. Perhaps these would be more dashing via Instagram or Hipstamatic, but it’s too damn hot to work that hard. Some photos from my inaugural attentive ride of 2011 —