It’s (not) alive!

Yes, yes, yes, it’s that time of year again, and Charles Pelkey and I are … still not doing our famous Live Update Guy thing.

I always feel a twinge of guilt and sorrow over having turned my back on the one what brung me to the freelancers’ dance — bicycle racing, and specifically Le Tour — but I sure do enjoy having my mornings free for bicycling instead of blathering.

Charles, of course, wouldn’t know what a free morning was if it bit him in his billable hours, which it would. He’s lawyerin’ away like crazy up there in Wyoming, and confesses via email that, like me, he doesn’t have any idea who the top men in the Tour are anymore.

But all that NRRBBB®* sure was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it?

* That’s Non-Race-Related Blah-Blah-Blah to you, sonny.

Tags: ,

26 Responses to “It’s (not) alive!”

  1. JD Says:

    Indeed! Those were the days! Best to all! 🙂

  2. redrockmtb Says:

    i’m trying to imagine ken layne from desert oracle doind a blow by blow of the tour.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      “Night has fallen on the Tour. … And so has Mark Cavendish.”

      • redrockmtb Says:


      • redrockmtb Says:

        i think everyone fell yesterday. several large pile ups.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Yeah, that dipshit fool with the Opi-Omi sign really did a number on Le Tour. If and when the cops find her she should be compelled to write “It’s not about me” every 100 meters along this year’s route, from the Grand Départ to the Champs-Élysées.

        • SAO' Says:

          Interfering with the race should result in the interloper being sent down a Bloomington country road, and then we let John Vande Velde share his frame pump in classic Team Cinzano style.

        • Shawn Says:

          I feel some sympathy for the poor wretch – No not POG, but the person with the sign at the tour. Apparently she was communicating a greeting to her grandparents. “Look at me, I’m on TV”. But now she’s a celebrity of the worst kind, all for a moment of poor judgement. What I wonder is what would have happened if Martin had simply blasted through the sign. It was cardboard and he might have been able to avoid falling. How might have Sagen, Van Aert or one of those with an MTB background dealt with the issue? There is certainly no fault on Martin’s part, but his reaction prior to impact may have caused his fall. I recall one time, riding in a pack on a fine Orange County, CA roadway. I was chatting away with one of the other riders when my bike was suddenly jolted upward and then just as suddenly I was back down and riding as if nothing had happened. I had ran over one of the rounded lane buttons on the roadway. The ones that stand about 2″ high and if you hit one you normally go down quick. However and with good fortune, in my case I had impacted the lane button straight on over the center (good), and I did not see the lane button before impact (good again) so that I could have reacted and possibly crashed anyway a la Tony Martin. Sometimes it’s better to simply “damn the ignorant spectators, and give it full speed ahead”. I saw that work once really well with a loose dog in the roadway; and the dog got up and ran off with no apparent injuries.

  3. SAO' Says:

    Thinking about bringing back LUG reminded me of a Jon Krakauer line, about climbing a nasty mountain. Paraphrasing, his partner wanted very much to climb the Eiger, while Jon simply wanted to have climbed it.

    Live updating 21 stages has got to be a mixed bag. Lots of fun interaction and camaraderie, but at the same time … 4-6 hours a day for 3 weeks is a long time to ride any Ferris wheel.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yeah, it was big fun, but also something of a mountain to climb. Remember, for a while we were doing all three grand tours, and occasionally a one-day race, so we were logging nine weeks of early mornings per annum.

      Lucky for us, the audience pitched in to help with the commentary. It really was quite a little community we had going on there.

  4. SAO' Says:

    Didn’t intend on watching any of the race today, but I was setting up a new modem and needed to check all of the connections, so I fired up the TV. The girls immediately gravitated to the box.

    “Tour de France? Did they copy that name from the Tour de Fat?”

    “Hey, that’s Bobke talking. Mom has his Prayer Stix on her old mountain bike.”

    Now I’m really missing the Live Update Guys. Adding a 10 and 8 year old perspective to the race woulda been a hoot!

  5. khal spencer Says:

    Those were the daze.

  6. Pat O’Brien Says:

    It was fun the 2 or 3 seasons I followed it. Now, I am glad you have more free time, and Charles has more, well, billable hours. Hope you feel the same about it. Now you have more time for podcasting, and when you makes the big money you can put SM-7B for the recoding closet.

  7. Shawn Says:

    I miss the days of LUG as well. But I miss them more because of the loss of Mons. I can imagine (in my mind) his place of rest surrounded with a few LeTour flags and a LUG sticker applied somewhere on his headstone.

    Billable hours? I thought Charles only worked pro-bono and for free beer? What? He’s become a capitalist? What has happened to the world?

  8. Libby Says:

    Yes, LUG was fun. Mons never had the opportunity to enjoy the grand tours last year. If he had been able to remain at the Vatican he may have had a much better chance of not catching COVID. Northern Italy was hit very hard and Italy enacted many public safety measures throughout Italy sooner than the US and certainly the state where Mons lived out his vocation.
    When Charles was at VN he ran a daily contest with a prize. A daily “be the first to correctly guess the winner of the stage”. I didn’t play often. I won twice. A Spiuk helmet for a Vuelta ITT (Rubén Plaza) and 4 Velo Press books for a Giro ITT (Brent Copeland). Copeland’s win was a nighttime 1km (Cipo dazzled in an amazing getup) race against the clock. I knew Copeland was a champ on the track, so. Plaza was great against the clock and very talented, too, so I picked him and he beat the top GC men.

    • SAO' Says:

      Someone in Hawaii is driving a 1997 Soobie Forester with a LUG sticker on the rear bumper. Almost didn’t sell that car because of that sticker!

      • Shawn Says:

        I’ll sell you my Lug Sticker if you take the old bag-o-bolts jalopy that it is stuck to.

        Nah, just kidding. I like the sticker too much… But you can still have the old bag-o-bolts jalopy.

  9. me Says:

    So great

  10. JD Says:

    Here’s an Alt Tour sponsored by Rapha and EF Gone Racing w/Lachlan Morton for a great cause. I personally love Lachlan because he’s a world-class pro cyclist who does it way differently and is showcasing other types of riding. He’s doing the full 2021 TdF route and cycling the transfers too!

  11. Herb from Michigan Says:

    Once upon a time, in a land where the wine and cheese were good, bikes had brake cables that sprang forth like day lilies. Monsignor LeMond once told a group of us that when he first broke in on the international circuit he learned that if you were riding in a tight pack another rider could reach over and bend your brake cable slightly there by putting the brake into action. Then the villains would deny doing so if a crash ensued. Well I once did that to myself by accident when I was in a paceline and after a hurried water bottle maneuver grabbed my arched rear brake cable whilst returning my hand to the cockpit. Guy behind me never had a chance…I managed to stay on the skidding Falcon but after that was considered a reckless fool and given a wide berth in the pace lines. Oh the shame…

  12. Tony Geller Says:

    Have you heard Jose Been on the Cyclingtips podcast? Not quite up to Mons’s written essays, but a very nice combination of local culture, regional and racing history for the upcoming stage.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      No, I’ve been paying only cursory attention to Le Tour. Occasionally I check in with The Guardian‘s live update, because those dudes seem to maintain a sense of humor about all this nonsense.

      As always, I wish some of the hoopla could be dialed down a notch or three and some more love given to lesser events, especially ones on this side of the pond. But Le Tour is bicycling’s Christmas, the time when everyone makes bank.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: