Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer is here: I've got that not-so-fresh feeling.

This past Wednesday was the first official day of Summer, which means that Tuesday was Summer's Eve. 

And this reminds me that I have, in my juvenile brain, something I call a "Douchemeter".  Essentially, this is a barometer by which I judge a person's douchiness, and just like pressure systems in weather patterns, the amplitude of one's douchiness can also vary dramatically on any given day or week.  I've always had this meter in my brain, even as a youngster back in the 80's, although then it was a much more primitive version which I referred to as a "Renob-O-gram."  At any rate, using the Douchemeter, I'm able to actually quantify a person's douchiness and measure it in specific units called "Riccos".

I bring this up now, because this week I've witnessed the meteoric rise of douchiness of several key members of Team RadioSchlep.  Firstly, Johan Bruyneel: Make no mistake, his Ricco count was already impressive when he left Chris Horner off of the forthcoming Tour de France long roster list, but didn't have the decency to tell him, rather letting Chris' wife read about it on the Internet.  But then Horner picked up some Riccos himself by sacrificing all self-respect and pandering to the Bruyneel after the snub saying publicly that he thinks Lance Armstrong never doped, and that, oh yeah - he still really wants to race in the Tour de, really really bad.  So Bruyneel proved why he is team leader by snatching one metric fuck-ton of Riccos by putting Horner on the final Tour de France squad and eliminating Jakob Fuglsang.  Yeah - the same Jakob Fuglsang who raced in the Tour de Suisse in support of Frankie Schleck and also won the Tour of Luxembourg recently.  Oh yeah - and a couple of days after not being declared good enough to race with Team RadioShitz, Fuglsang goes out and wins the Danish National Time Trial.  In the meantime Horner has in special secret training??


And everyone is well aware of Andy Schleck's issues this spring.  After being repeatedly dropped in the Criterium du Dauphine on a bunch of rolling stages during which he was said to be "deploying his Schleck-chute," said 'chute then apparently caught a nasty cross wind in the individual time trial and Andy crashed and fractured his sacrum.  Well - not to be outdone by his brother, in advance of the Tour de France, Frankie deploys his own Schleck-chute before the race even has a chance to begin by publicly declaring he does not want to be team leader for the Tour!  This is an unprecedented early deployment of the 'chute even by Schleck standards.  This registered high on the Douchemeter and also earned he and his brother commemorative t-shirts available from Cyclismas.

Only 29.99 but supplies are limited!  Act now!

And speaking of douches and the Tour de France, what's going on with Mark Cavendish?  Well, he will be the first Briton to wear the rainbow jersey in the Tour as current World Champion in 46 years.  Unfortunately for him, the Team Sky tour roster has been designed around those able to help teammate Bradley Wiggins in the mountains as he will be contending for the general classification, meaning that Cavendish will only have a single true lead-out man for the sprints: Edvald Boasson Hagen (Or as we like to refer to him: Eddie Bo-Hog).  This has lead some analysts to think that Cavendouche will not perform as well in this year's Tour without having the typical 4 or 5 man leadout train.  Honestly, I don't know what these skeptics are talking about.  Cavs will still have a 5-man lead out train, it just so happens that they will all be wearing Liquigas kits. 
Enough of that....let's get to a little mail:

Dear PooBah,
I'm heading over to France this week to photograph the big race and I cannot wait.  Having never travelled to Europe before though, I'm a little bit worried about avoiding the "ugly American tourist" stigma and am hoping I will be able to blend in easily.  Do you have any suggestions on how best to accomplish that?

Great question.  As a budding amateur photographer myself, and one to never shy away from getting close to the action along side many a race, I'm going to give you my magic combination of apparel items that will keep you cool, comfortable and feeling right at home in any European country:  Pink straw fedora, extra small running shorts and shirt.
Me in action.

Dear PooBah,
I'm intrigued by the concept of compression socks in aiding recovery following rides.  I'm a rather large guy - I think some call us "Clydesdales" - and am wondering if there is any evidence out there that would suggest that larger cyclists would see benefits from compression cycling apparel?
Thanks so much!

Actually yes.  There is some data obtained from an animal model that examined the use of compression wear in larger species.....actually wait, no....this was actually taken from a bestiality S and M latex-fetish trade show.....never mind.

Dear PooBah,
Rumor on the street is that Taylor Phinney is quite the ladies man.  This makes sense to me - he's a rising star in American cycling, and garnered a lot of attention at this year's Giro as the first American to wear pink since Christian VandeVelde did several years ago!  And now that he's heading back to the Olympics as a young attractive bachelor to represent the USA in the time trial, one has to wonder what kind of shenanigans he might get into with the female gymnasts in the Olympic village???
Any speculation?

Yeah - I think Taylor is liking life right now - and deservedly so.  I just hope he is able to "conceal his happiness" with some discretion while in London....

Dear PooBah,
I was walking down 9th street today and just happened upon this bike that has been modified for bike polo locked up. 
What is concerning is what I saw secured to the head tube with electrical tape!
A flipping pistol!  What do you make of this?

Yeah, this is concerning to say the least.  He's NEVER going to be able to retrieve that gun quickly enough if it is wrapped up in electrical tape like that.  He really ought to invest in a frame-mounted holster which should give him much more easy access in case he needs to drop somebody pilfering his cooler of PBR in the middle of a polo match. 

Dear PooBah,
My cassette freehub is making an awful squealing sound when I make a rapid descent.  Can you look at this photo of it and tell me what you think might be wrong with it?
Thank you so much -

Honestly, your hub body looks pretty good from where I'm sitting.....but I'd still be happy to come over and oil your bearings for you if you think it might help?

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