Tick, tock

Sinton Trail, Oct. 19, 2012

The yellow leaves are fading fast and falling to earth. There’s a metaphor here somewhere; I’m sure of it.

Now we wait. The UCI has announced that it intends to disclose its course of action in USADA v. TCWSNBN on Monday, but tonight the object of their intention is addressing a gala hoedown marking the 15th-anniversary of Livestrong, once known as the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which remains its official title.

This means that ink-stained and pixel-pocked wretches worldwide must postpone the drinking of lunch, dinner or breakfast until Big Tex either (a) says, “It’s a fair cop, but society is to blame,” or (2) re-enacts the Hitler-in-the-bunker scene, but this time in first-person Texican instead of German and without the postage-stamp ‘stache. Either way, the poor bastards will have to file something, which will only make them bilious and vengeful come Monday.

I already did my little bit of business this morning, fielding a few e-mails from editors and watching a vanity not get installed in the downstairs bathroom (see “Return of the Shit Monsoon). So I left the revelation watch to others and took the All-City Space Horse out for a pleasant 90-minute ride, which seems to be just about my speed lately,

I had been prepared to be critical of the bike, because I had noticed some knee discomfort while riding it that didn’t occur while astride anything else. The pedal-shoe interface seemed without fault, as I have Shimano SPDs on several other bikes.

Finally I broke out the tape measure and checked saddle height against two other bikes that weren’t bugging me and lo and behold: The Space Horse was way off. I’d sack that mechanic if he didn’t know me so well. Dude reads my mail and knows all my passwords and is wearing my pants as we speak. So much for my chops as a fount of velo-wisdom.

Now I’m back at the ranch and enjoying a delicious glass of dinner because I’m not the guy who has to write the story, when and if there is one. And my knees don’t hurt, either.

• Late update: A standing o’ for The Boss and no fresh revelations. A third option (iii) that I hadn’t even considered (see “fount of velo-wisdom,” above). Still, it’s good news for me. The last time I lost a bet on a Big Tex story I had to dress up as Betsy Andreu for a week.

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15 Responses to “Tick, tock”

  1. GJ John Says:

    Okay, drinking game time. If TCWSNBN makes any of the statements below, you have to take one shot of specified beverage:

    1. “This is a result of a vendetta against me…” — whiskey
    2. “These are a bunch of serial liars with no credibility…” — vodka
    3. “This is an affront to all cancer survivors everywhere….” — bourbon
    4. Full confession — water (no sense in wasting any useful drink)

  2. Larry T. Says:

    Your weather should be OURS by tomorrow I hope. Really looking forward to getting outside on a bicycle.
    BigTex reports the past weeks have been difficult? Boohoo. What happened to sleeping like a baby and moving forward? How difficult has it been for the Andreu’s, the LeMond’s and all the others this prick tried to destroy? Sounds like he’s working his “CancerJesus” angle overtime down there in Nazareth….er… Austin.

    • Libby Says:

      “Nazareth”, hah! Or, to jump on Patrick’s recent “He Wore a Yellow Bracelet” theme: a trilogy of”Fort Austin”, “He Wore a Yellow Bracelet” and “Rio Sangre” , written, produced and directed by LA.
      No slurs intended to John Ford, John Wayne, Mildred Natwick, Harry Carey,Jr.,(still living),
      Victor McLagen et al.

  3. Libby Says:

    I feel like I could step into that picture. At least, I want to.
    Glad you had time to savor a glass or two after flogging yourself with a wet noodle.

    I think Lance should have excused himself from the Livestrong event – a video message of thanks and commendation to the organization, staff, supporters, etc.

  4. Khal Spencer Says:

    I’ve fussed with seat and handlebar position incessantly on setting up new bikes even after doing preliminary tape measure adjustments. Minor differences in geometry, seatpost angle, etc. seem to make a difference. When I set up the Trucker and LaCruz, I checked the seat height and dropped a plumb bob to set fore/aft and never seemed to get it right except when riding it afterwards and saying “this feels like shit” and taking out the allen wrenches.

    I’m just getting over having re-injured that herniated disk, so the pain I felt this week was not for Big Tex. Will try for a bike ride today. As far as that UCI vs. TCWSNBN drama is concerned, whether one goes on the preponderance of evidence or beyond reasonable, I think the jury should be out. Only question is whether it has been bought off: But please, let’s move on to something happier in cycling.

    • GJ John Says:

      “I’d call him a sadistic, sodomistic necrophile, but that would be beating a dead horse.” — From the movie “What’s Up Tiger Lilly”, and quote I don’t get to use nearly often enough.

      I run into the same problems you do, Khal, when I’m setting up a new bike. I had an especially awkward period when setting up my Long Haul Trucker. A big part of the problem, I decided, was that different shoes and pedal systems have a varying (what I like to call) “stack”, or distance from the centerline of the pedal spindle to where the bottom of your foot meets the shoe. For example, my Long Haul Trucker is the only bike I have using Frog pedals (very knee friendly) which seem to have a large “stack”, meaning that on my LHT I needed a saddle height at least 5mm greater than any other bike. I’ve run into the same thing with different shoes too, so which shoes I use, even with the same pedals, seems to make the bike feel different.

      A while back Leonard Zinn wrote an end-of-the-year column for Velonews.com in which he had a bunch of suggestions for bike/component makers that could make all of our lives easier. I especially agreed with his request that drop handlebars need a scale on both sides to aid in getting the levers in the same place (getting the levers even sometimes drives me nuts). Similarly, my suggestion would be for shoe and pedal makers to list a “stack” as part of their specs, so us discerning (read: picky) cyclists can more easily set up our bikes.

      See? We successfully moved on to something else. For the moment.

      • Larry T. Says:

        Too many variables make things like this a nightmare. Shoes & pedals are probably the worst. Try to minimize these things. Once you find a shoe/pedal combo or a handlebar you like, make sure you get more than one pair – you can drive yourself nuts trying to adjust for all the minute differences in these things. The pros have a tough enough time just with multiple bikes from the same maker, equipped with the same components while using the same shoes, etc.
        I use a Fit Stick but Zinn’s method is as good as any. I can get on ANY of my road bikes and feel instantly comfortable to the point where in 15 minutes I can’t remember which one I’m riding unless I look down – but I’m also someone who can ride 170, 172.5 or 175 mm cranks without feeling any difference.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I was on Time ATACs throughout the fleet until Time redesigned the pedal, turning a simple piece of engineering into what looked like a robot assassin from a “Star Wars” flick. I should’ve bought a few dozen of the old models, because I know many an old-school-ATAC fan who is spinning something else as a consequence.

  5. Andy Bohlmann Says:

    See “the chart” of who’s who in US cycling at http://www.sandcreeksports.com/documents/ArmstrongChart.pdf

  6. Jon Paulos Says:

    Was anyone expecting anything different at the LiveStrong gala? The dude’s got two paths, most notably followed by Jim Bakker (of Jim and Tammy Faye fame) and Martha Stewart (Is Martha Stewart Living magazine, among others).

    Bakker basically found Jesus and begged forgiveness. “God has forgiven me, how about you?”. Big Tex is a stiff-necked SOB and won’t bend to that And he couldn’t pull it off with a straight face anyway.

    So he’s following in Martha’s top-sider clad footsteps. Do the time, keep your head down and carry on. His problem here is that Martha didn’t do things that made us all proud, like flying the US flag on the Champs Elysee. So as I write this, I realize that maybe he’s doing a George W Bush variant on the Martha.

    Back in 2003, during the runup to the Iraq war, The Onion, America’s Finest Newspaper, published a headline: “Bush On The Economy: We Must Invade Iraq.” Armstrong has one ace left, and that is his fight against cancer. He’s going to play that anytime he gets a chance to play anything. “I’m just here to talk about the fight against cancer” is going to come out of his mouth so often that all you’ll need to about him making a public utterance is that he made one. You’ll know what he’s going to say before he even opens his mouth.

    Will this return him to his former glory? No. I think the best he can hope for is that a certain segment of the population will still believe in him, kind of like Nixon trying to rehabilitate himself. But it might achieve that goal.

    Andy, love that chart. Thanks for posting.

  7. Khal Spencer Says:

    George McGovern checked out for a better place today. Hat’s off to a great American.


  8. Ira Says:

    Reporter: Lance, will you admit to using PED’s?

    LA: I’m here today to make a total confession. I used drugs throughout my career because it was necessary to compete at that level. No drugs, no yellow jersey, see? But I want to change all that. I’m announcing the formation of the Lance Armstrong Foundation for Sport, or LAFS for short. I’m going to raise millions of dollars for LAFS and spread the word about doping in cycling. I’m also going to work with Carmichael to create a system to aid professional athletes in their quest for performance without drugs. I’m calling it Sports Health Technical Systems, or SHTS.

    Reporter: So, are you going to fund research into doping detection?

    LA: Hell no. I’m going to concentrate on awareness of doping, just like what I did for cancer. You’ve heard of cancer, haven’t you?

    Reporter: Er, of course…

    LA: See, Livestrong is a complete success! LAFS will be modeled exactly like that. I’ll go around telling people about doping. I won’t actually do anything about it, but at 500 grand a speaking engagement, I’ll be hauling in loads of money for SHTS and LAFS.

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