Archive for the ‘Bicycle racing’ Category

Just a few autumn leaves

September 22, 2020

You can trust your car to the man who wears the star. Or not.

• Skid Marx: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

• Al Sleet lives: “The weather will continue to change, on and off, for a long, long time.”

• Raiders of the Lost Arkea-Samsic: “We have top men working on it right now.”

And they’re off!

August 29, 2020

You just knew there was gonna be some sunflowers involved, amirite?

Any bets as to whether they make it to Paris?

In case you can’t read The New York Times story, enjoy this howler from Le Tour general director Christian Prudhomme, discussing whether a squad with a shot at the yellow jersey might try to circumvent the race’s plague protocols should The Bug® join the team late in the game.

Prudhomme dismissed such concerns, arguing that it was “everyone’s responsibility” to respect the protocols. “I don’t see how people wouldn’t respect the rules,” he said.

Ho, ho, etc. Laugh, I thought I’d die.  I was born at night, Christian old scout, but it wasn’t last night.

La Grande Bollocks

August 23, 2020

Remember those fabulous Nineties? There was some question about whether the Tour would make Paris in 1998, too.

“A Tour like no other:” That’s William Fotheringham weighing in on Le Shew Bigge, which starts Saturday in Nice.

How far it gets is anybody’s guess.

As Fotheringham notes:

In fact, it’s hard to see as far as Paris. For the next four weeks, the world of cycling and all of France will be living in hope, watching for the first positive test and the first cluster. By mid-September, running this Tour could look either like an act of calculated daring resulting in the biggest sports event of the year or it could be clear this was utter folly and delusion.

I don’t have a mutt in this hunt, as I no longer earn a portion of my meager living off the bicycle racing.

But if Lawyer Pelkey and I were LUGging this one I’d wear a mask from start to finish and deploy my feeble witticisms from a bathtub filled with bleach.

Will the riders have any vital fluids remaining after testing for La Grande Bug and the usual controlled substances? Might full-face helmets become en vogue in the peloton? How does one manage a socially distant sprint finish? Could post-stage interviews be conducted via drone?

Incidentally, some jagoff was flying one of those buzzing annoyances above the cul-de-sac yesterday and I longed to have a go at it with the Ruger 10/22.

I resisted the impulse. It seemed unwise. Here’s hoping ASO doesn’t come to regret taking its shot.

LUG rides again!

May 14, 2020

Remember this guy? He’s gonna be on Zoom and ESPN.
And here I always thought he had a radio face, too.

This time around, the acronym stands for “Legislative Update Guy,” and the live updates will include a video component.

No, not old “Monty Python” clips. Go and boil your bottoms, sons of a silly person.

My old Live Update Guy comrade Charles Pelkey and his fellow Wyoming state legislators will be participating in a special session via Zoom beginning Friday. And yes, we can watch. And without having to drop any of our DonnyDollars® into the Tip Jar!

Bonus! Winning! So. Much. Winning.

Charles rang me up last night to wish us a belated happy wedding anniversary and we spent a few minutes catching up. In addition to attending virtual special sessions of the leg’, he’s continuing to practice law, and while he’s not exactly burning up Wyoming’s roads on the old two-wheeler these days, he is finding time to do a bit of walking.

He’s also appearing in the latest HWSNBN documentary, “Lance,” as you can see from the screen grab above, which I liberated from the trailer.

Filmmaker Marina Zenovich has directed works on Robin Williams, Richard Pryor, and Roman Polanski. I don’t believe I’ve seen any of them, and I don’t believe I’ll be seeing this one either, having exactly zero interest in the latest version of Ol’ Whatsisface’s “truth.”

But it was cool to get a live update from an old pal.

Three weeks in … when?

April 14, 2020

Apparently not. …

Surprise, surprise — the Tour de France will be postponed, at the very least.

On Monday, according to The Guardian, President Emmanuel Macron announced that he would be extending France’s lockdown until May 11, and that no large public events would be allowed before July 11.

Le Tour had been scheduled to kick off June 26 in Nice.

Now, according to CyclingTips, the Spanish newspaper MARCA reports that the Tour could get shifted to August, with the Vuelta a España in September and the Giro d’Italia in October.

That would be a rough ol’ nine weeks, no? Looks like this is not the year to resurrect Live Update Guy.

Non-Race-Related Blah Blah Blah®

April 2, 2020

Well, it seems sports podcasters have finally caught up with what Charles Pelkey and I were doing all those years at Live Update Guy.

With everyone staying home and the athletic world as a whole looking a lot like the middle 75km of a flat Tour stage, they’ve resorted to (wait for it) Non-Race-Related Blah Blah Blah®, a LUG specialty. As Caroline Crampton writes at Nieman Lab:

“As well as covering how players and support staff are handling the situation, [The Anfield Wrap] is dipping into comedy, history and broader fan culture. Iain Macintosh, chief executive of Muddy Knees Media — best known for The Totally Football Show and other associated podcasts — spoke of similar plans. His team just has “an inexhaustible supply of new feature ideas,” he said. “We’re not trying to replicate what we did before, because we can’t, but rather see it as a chance to go through all those things that we’ve talked about doing that, you know, real life has got in the way. Now we can get them out there and give them some air.” That includes a forthcoming “Pundit World Cup” as well as film reviews, documentaries, and quizzes.”

Maybe it’s time to revive LUG as a podcast. With no irksome bicycle racing and TV images of same to cramp our creative style, we could really focus on just making the whole thing up.

(Not) the Tour de France

March 26, 2020

Tom Waits for no one.

But somebody’s still thinking about it:

“Professional cycling reacted with a mix of cautious optimism and scepticism after the French sports minister, Roxana Mărăcineau, confirmed that together with the Tour de France organisers ASO, her officials were exploring ways of running a scaled-down Tour with restrictions on spectator access this summer even though the country is currently in lockdown to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”

Uh huh. I don’t see Live Update Guy cranking up the rusty machinery for this one. But I’ve been wrong before. …

Just say what?

February 13, 2020

“Recovery is possible?”
Not based on my experience with bicycle racing, it isn’t.

OK, I’m bent, twisted, more than a bubble off plumb.

I know this about myself, and I came to terms with it long ago.

But I can’t be the only person who finds this “dose of reality” amusing.

Stupor Sunday

February 2, 2020

His Excellency confers with the underside of his eyelids.

As you can see, Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment) and his adjutant Miss Mia Sopaipilla can’t wait for The Big Game to get under way.

We don’t follow the feets ball here at El Rancho Pendejo, having gotten our fill of artificially augmented athletes at that Boulder-based journal of competitive cycling.

Miss Mia Sopaipilla stands watch at the rear portcullis.

Indeed, we watch no televised sports of any kind, preferring to participate rather than spectate.

Oh, sometimes I’ll watch the U.S. cyclocross nationals, or ’cross worlds, if I can find a free feed uncontaminated by bots, viruses, Trojan horses, poltergeists, pixies, h’ants, djinni, cooties, boogers, and other agents of Chaos.

But I didn’t even watch worlds this weekend. My gal Katie Compton just missed the podium after a poor start, and Mathieu van der Poel — well, let’s just say that the dude might as well have been racing all by himself.

Anyway, this morning I had other concerns. Ironically, they involved my own doping regimen.

As I stumbled into the kitchen Herself intercepts me and goes all like: “Bad news. The coffee grinder’s broken again.”

Happily, she’d managed to brew just enough joe for me to pour a shot in each eyeball and then get to work rebooting the evil sonofabitch.

12 Days of ’Toonsmas: Day 3

December 22, 2019

Moles don’t get that big, even if they drink beer.
From the March 2019 issue of BRAIN.

Felix Magowan, one of the original Trio that acquired what had been called Velo-news from founders Barbara and Robert George, had long wanted to add Bicycle Retailer and Industry News to the Inside Communications portfolio.

He never got it done. Eventually Inside Communications sold VeloNews to a passing crew of brigands, and Felix wandered off to do other things.

Episode 19 of Radio Free Dogpatch, “Can’t Find My Way Home,” from February 11, 2019.

Imagine giving Dave Stohler’s Masi Gran Criterium to your meth-addict nephew as a present for graduating from reform school. A bleak period ensued, thick with the sort of belligerent dumbassery once found only in high-school locker rooms, family trees shaped like flagpoles, and the lower houses of state legislatures in the Deep South.

I finally sat up and slipped off the back because VeloNews seemed to be careening into the sort of future in which plague-carrying aliens burst out of people’s chests while they’re battling killer robots. The Old Guy Who Gets Fat in Winter went with me, to do the occasional walk-on in Bicycle Retailer’s “Shop Talk” comic strip.

And then, shazam! Felix reappeared as part of Pocket Outdoor Media, and not only reacquired VeloNews, but snapped up BRAIN and a couple other properties as well.

The Fat Guy and I didn’t go back to the old home place. I didn’t care about bicycle racing anymore, and anyway, we weren’t invited. But it seemed like a good time to make a meta joke about how Fatso was a spy for his old bosses.

Unlike the vulture capitalists who nearly burned VeloNews down to its foundation, the “Shop Talk” dudes seem to know they’re cartoon characters.

Also, unlike vulture capitalists, they’re funny.

• Editor’s note: Today’s blast from the past includes a bonus audio component — episode 19 of Radio Free Dogpatch from February 2019.