Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter cycling news....boring and a little creepy

Once cross season is over, reading winter cycling news is just about the most boring thing you can subject yourself to.  "Team 'blah-blah-blah' is holding their winter training camp in the Bahamas, while team 'who-gives-a-shit' is welcoming its new members on the southern coast of Spain."  We sit in cold homes and offices and watch the tropical frivolity unfold.  But which photographer thought is was necessary to take a picture of Garmin's Jonathan Vaughters spray his hairy ankles with insect repellent to keep the sand flies away in the Caymans:

Or observe David Zabriskie attending an evening soiree in a hideous mini-muumuu:
Of course, I'm sure these guys don't exactly appreciate having the cycling paparazzi in their face 24/7 either....especially when you are the World Champion and are just trying to dry hump a giant iguana.  I mean - doesn't the rainbow jersey earn you a little privacy now and then?

Or how about having your photo taken if you're the SaxoBank boys windsurfing at a nude beach:

Of course, any disdain on my part toward these stories is born out of two things: 1) I already have cabin fever and it's not even Christmas yet, and 2) I want to get to ride a giant friggin' iguana!

It was in the midst of this dark place of cold toes and iguana envy that I stumbled upon an advertisment for a winter cycling challenge from Rapha.  Titled the Rapha Festive 500, the company is challenging cyclists worldwide to ride 500 km between December 23 and December 30th.  Each cyclist is responsible for documenting the accumulated mileage themselves and submitting said data via Flickr, Vimeo, YouTube or in blog format.  If you are one of the first 100 to complete the distance in the alloted time you win this.
Whoa - ease up on the giving spirit of Xmas, Rapha - you'll overwhelm us with the 100 cheap-ass little patches you're handing out.

However, if you document your 500km in a way more creative than anyone else, you can also win the "Deep Winter Training Bundle" which sadly does not include a trip to the Cayman Islands, or an iguana ride, but rather a bunch of winter riding clothes, well-crafted to be sure, but also certain to be the target of much ridicule by those you are riding with....especially if you take the time to sew the patch on. Sadly, the $70 special Rapha+PaulSmith Silk riding scarf which also featured prominently on the Rapha website these days is not included amongst the prizes.
(What a shame - this would have really looked good on the COMO CYCO dog, too.)

 In other fascinating winter-time cycling news, Columbia HTC just released photos of their new cycling kit, as demonstrated here by Tony Martin.
Sprinter extrodinaire Mark Cavendouche wasted no time busting his out on a training ride....

...which unforunately was cut short because his feet couldn't reach the pedals, and he tired of his assistant having to hang on to his "steering tube."

Amongst all of this boring winter cycling news, the most unsettling thing I have stumbled upon, however, has to be this photo of SaxoBank directeur Bjarne Riis playing in the sea with his new Luxembougless SaxoBank squad:

Where did the man's chin go?  Did he lose it in the surf, or was it gnawed off by a reef shark? Does anyone remember the 1982 movie The Thing made by John Carpenter where an alien life form is encountered in the Arctic that can take over bodies?  Do you remember this particular incarnation of the The Thing?

I swear - you put this thing in a high-collared skin suit - and you've got surf-folicking Bjarne Riis....

I'ts going to be a long winter.


  1. 2 posts in 2 days! Slow down my man, you are never going to make it through winter!

    Yet, I must admit, I do enjoy your take on the world of all things biking.

  2. Three huzzas for your return. Life was a little less interesting, a little less amusing and a little less educational without you!