Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Changing views....

The offseason for me, and perhaps other cyclists as well, is always such an odd one.  The routines we work so hard to  maintain in the spring, summer and fall suddenly become disjointed, as motivation to jump on a trainer is a struggle.  I've tried many things to stay motivated on the trainer - and each of them tends to involve changing the view.  I've tried watching old Tour de France DVDs, the news, college basketball and movies.  But I think my favorite thing to watch is Giada de Laurentiis cooking anything on the Food Network.

(By the way - big thanks to the CC GEEC, and my partner in cycling crime, for the new Giada cookbook she got me for Xmas....not sure how the recipes are yet - but the photos are lovely and it should fit nicely on the bookstand on my handlebars).

Of course, if you are Lance Armstrong, changing the view from your trainer means you hop on your private jet, dart off to the big Island of Hawai'i and exchange the trainer for a beautifully paved highway with a view of Maui.

Lucky for him, a recent report that examined Hawai'i visitor injuries revealed that only 4% of all visits to the Emergency Room by non-Hawai'ian residents were related to bicycle crashes.  The number one reason (24% of visits) was related to falls (apparently not off of one's bicycle - unless one was looking at pictures of Giada marinating breasts from a chicken while riding). 

But Lance isn't the only member of the pro-peloton looking to mix up some training tactics during the off season.  Yesterday, we reported on Andy Schleck getting hit by a car the day after Christmas.  Well, today he reports in his own blog that both he AND his dog, named Minke, got banged up over the Christmas vacation.  Apparently, while on a jaunt through the woods, Minke jumped into a fox hole and got into a scrap with Mr. Fox and took a bit of a beating as well.  Sensing some evil juju magic swirling about Schleck and Team Saxo Bank, directeur Bjarne Riis had he and the other Saxo Bank riders gather around a bonfire, into which they were to cast written descriptions of their evil spirits.  Andy describes the scene:

"We had to huddle around a fire while we each wrote down one thing on a piece of  paper before casting it into the flames.  Whatever we wrote down, whatever trouble or problem, it would burn away into the night and not return.  You're probably thinking that I wrote Alberto Contador's name down.  Well you're right, but it was only a joke and I showed the entire team, who found it hilarious.  What I really wrote down has to stay a secret."
Whatever you say, Andy:

Twitter has also revealed some major view-changing for a couple of other big names.  First, Floyd Landis is on the verge of signing with Rock Racing after leaving Team OUCH a month ago.  Michael Ball's Rock Racing team is always in the business of changing their view - and staying on the cutting edge of fashion both on and off the bike.  Take for example their new "Anarchy" bib shorts:

Aside from the novel lightweight stretch quick-dry fabric these are constructed from, my favorite part is the large red splotch precariously positioned over the crotchal region.  Nothing says cycling toughness like displaying that you literally ride until your taint sloughs.  That is anarchy.

But as suggested above, cycling apparel is only one half of Rock&Republic's fashion line.  Check out what they've got for the tots at home:

Yes, for a cool $180, you can put your 9 year old son in some R&R designer jeans and T-shirt that comes complete with lipstick marks all over the shoulders.  But of course, those lipstick marks are probably meant to represent kisses from the boy's mother - right?  Because R&R doesn't forget about the mothers out there...not even the expectant ones.  Ever wonder what former Rock Racing star and admitted doper, Tyler Hamilton is doing now?  Stamping his name on R&R designer maternity jeans.

Could all of this be what inspired Floyd to recently tweet this cryptic message?

And someone whose view is about to be changed quite drastically is Tom Zirbel, former graduate student in Chemistry turned professional cyclist 4 years ago.  Results from tests taken during the US Pro time trial championships (where he finished 2nd) just revealed a positive finding for an endogenous steroid (DHEA).  He has been dropped from the Garmin-Transition roster and is nervously awaiting confirmation of the tests with the B sample.  DHEA is a steroid precursor that converts to testosterone in the body, and despite its debatable efficacy in enhancing performance, it is a banned substance.  My suggestion for a more natural testosterone booster?

More eggplant!

Pedal on!

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