Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Pitching the US Postal Jersey

It's time to pitch my US Postal cycling jersey.  The case against Lance Armstrong, former rider for the US Postal cycling team, is quite well established and accepted all around. 

I got a new jersey now

The US Postal was my first cycling jersey.  I bought it a few years back, for long summer rides.  The principle benefit of genuine athletic clothing is that they shed water, and therefore don't become heavy with sweat.  A cycling jersey has the additional advantages of the pockets on the back, and the snug fit.  During massively hot days I go with two bottles on the bike and one on my back.  The back-roads that I try to use sometimes send me for hours without a variety store.  There's some days when I go through three bottles an hour.  

This last summer, for instance, my longest ride was to Port Dover and back.  It was a 175 km round trip that took me over 8 hours, including stops, the longest being a 20-minute pizza break in Delhi.  On the return trip, everything was overheated. The sport drink was warm in the bottles, and I eventually began to vomit it up as I drank it.  I thought it really cool how I could lift an arm and puke off the bike without slowing down. The wind  By that point I was less than an hour from home, so I just carried on.  

For some reason which I don't quite remember, I took to mixing between the bottles.  The yellow Gatorade mixed with the blue looks a marshy green.  It had something to do with my preference for drinking out of the fresh cold bottle rather than the stale warm one.  This would leave me with two half filled bottles, which I would combine when buying a replacement.  

So I took to liking the jersey for its usefulness as well as the appreciation it showed for Lance's years of winning, even though I didn't even like how he won all the time.  It made the Tour dull.  A game sporting event is much more exciting when it's a close contest.  If one racer tears ahead and isn't challenged, then it's not so much fun to watch.  The Floyd Landis year was the best with the way he was in front, then way behind, then in front again.  That was great television.  With Lance in the race, you knew he was going to take it, except for the exciting Armstrong / Contador / Schleck battle.  That one was great too.

It doesn't matter to me that Lance cheated.  He was simply the best cheater in a sport played by  cheaters.  That seemed good enough.  Going back 10 years to single one cheat out of the crowd isn't sporting.  How can you just say that for 7 years there was no winner?  

What really made the difference for me was the way he handled the cover up.  The treatment of teammate Frankie Andreau and wife, and the treatment of soigneur Emma O-Reilly was deplorable.  That's what I can't stand.  So it's on to my new jersey.  

Sunday, 7 October 2012

They are re-paving Bower Hill

Hurray!  They are re-paving Bower Hill.

Bower Hill, Woodstock

It's the highest and toughest hill near here.  I have to cross it on the way to Woodstock.  The western approach is fine, with a mild rolling hills leading to the crest.  The eastern side, coming up from Woodstock is murder.  It's a series of steep inclines that really demand an effort.  Going down it on the way into Woodstock has been a nightmare with the pavement massively crumbling for most of the distance.  

Bower Hill stripped for paving
I got there last week to find it torn up into gravel.  It's going to be nice to have this paved and smooth.  It's a pity they took away the speed warning gizmo.  I will be easily able to break the 50 kph trip setting that it was on.  With the crumbled pavement, I had to really take it slow for the descent.

Saturday was cold.  I was well layered, but my feet went numb after the sun went behind all the clouds.  It could be my last long ride out of doors for the year. 

There's good hills around here

At packet-pickup in Milton, I gave the Running Free store a quick browse and came away with $150 of stuff.  It's my first set of photochromic sunglasses.  I've needed a pair since my ride to Port Dover in the summer, during which I lost my sunglasses when I took them off for the trail through the woods.  They don't have a rim, which has been hard to find.  I want that for riding so the rim doesn't block my view with my head down when I'm on the aero bars.