Paul Andrews

Archive for the ‘Lance's Chances’ Category

News Cycle: Crashed bike, e-bike, Lance’s bike, stolen bike & more

In Bicycle advocacy, Lance's Chances, News Cycle, Rider Down on February 1, 2010 at 1:54 am

So we have a question here. Exactly how cautious does a cyclist have to be to prevent a driver from turning left in front of him or her? We almost got run down today in Aptos in that very scenario, so we’d like, really, we’d love to know. You wonder if this cop would tell a gunshot victim to be especially careful not to get in the way of bullets.

In Idaho they’re still cranking along on the “Preserve Our Trails” mountain-biking license plate. Good on ‘em!

Pinarello Dogma worth “thousands and thousands” brazenly stolen from an Issaquah bike shop that should have known better.

BikingBis, who’s been on the case since the start, updates the 3-feet-please movement for 2010.

Jacquie Phelan: The A Side and the B Side of the “Modern San Franciscan”…aboard a bike of course. But first look at the photo.

Commute Seattle off and running…er carpooling…and biking!

What about Ennnn Ohhhhh don’t you understand?

Even with this on his side, the answer is still the same.

On the rise: The electric bike! I think of e-bikes the way I think of e-books: Nice implementation but Old School is better. Still, there’s no denying e-bikes are on the upswing. Battery technology is getting so insanely light and malleable that you can barely find the batteries on the bike any more. It’s only going to get better. In my dotage I may come to actually appreciate the things.

News Cycle: Haiti relief, Bike RV, Lance’s chances & more

In Lance's Chances, News Cycle on January 27, 2010 at 1:35 am

Guy gets so excited about Google Street View camera he crashes his bike. I’ve heard of more riders losing their iPhones exactly this way.

In 2009, the Dutch bought 1.3 million bicycles.

Which is 1.3 million fewer than Americans bought in the first quarter of 2009.

No longer does Preston Peterson have an excuse to show up at the trailhead with his trashed-out RV.

Craigslist continues to be the most successful weapon of choice against bike theft.

Adageo Energy Pro Cycling Team jerseys are being sold to benefit Haiti.

Even better, a 7-year-old cyclist is raising funds for Haiti by riding around his local park.

Twisted Spoke has scoped out early odds on Lance winning the Tour.

Today’s inspiration.

News Cycle: Zoic resuscitates, Top bike-club names, Bike rear-view mirror safety sticker & more

In Bicycle advocacy, Lance's Chances, News Cycle, Rider Down on January 26, 2010 at 1:32 am

BikingBis: Top bike-club names. Can’t argue with Gene on these. We did have the privilege of serving with a 1980s club founded by the estimable epicure, Bradford O’Connor, in celebration of one of his favorite beverages. It was called Team Green Death, in reference to the suitably toxic Rainier Brewery product, which served as official libation for all team meetings, gatherings and functions, including the annual sponsored Century Ride. TGD served its purpose and passed on, but the audacious team jersey lives in our attic somewhere.

Trial starts tomorrow of woman accused of mowing down cyclists while on her cell phone.

Lance says he thinks he can win the Tour de France again. “I might be a fool,” he acknowledges. While we chuckle at the thought Lance might be a fool, and especially at the notion he might really think that, we also know he has almost no chance to win another Tour. But as we’ve said, till someone else with a scintilla of charisma steps forward to lead the sport, Lance might as well chat up his chances.

Early Zoic (circa 2004) clothing was trend-setting and cool. Then the parent company lost interest and Zoic got expensive and precious. Now Eric Swenson and Paul Wyandt have bought Zoic, and we’re expecting great things.

BikePortland has report on a clever bike safety sticker.

A Wide Open Tour de France 2010?

In Bicycle Racing, Lance's Chances, This Day In Doping on January 25, 2010 at 3:46 am

Yes it’s early, but we continue to see signs that this year’s Tour de France is shaping up as a real bike race (as opposed to a single team of prima donnas controlling a docile peloton). We think it’s good for the sport, especially because we may be spared endless Clash of Titans bloviating re Lance and Alberto. With a slew of contenders in the mix, maybe this year’s Tour will have actual, true, real, what’s the expression … suspense?

Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez says he’s gonna try to win.

Aussie “Tour Down Under” champion Andre Greipel wants a go, mate.

His coach says Lance is ahead of last year’s training (when he eventually took third in the Tour). Or is this just something to say every year to juice the buzz?

Last year’s winner Alberto Contador looks to put an early hurt on the peloton in Paris-Nice.

Don’t forget our personal favorite, Andy Schleck (and brother Frank).

And we’ve already talked about the Doper Reunion aspect. Whatever else you can say about these cheats, they can still ride.

We’ll be watching Vegas odds on this one with intense interest.

This Day in Doping: Lance backs off self-testing; Rasmussen returns

In Lance's Chances, This Day In Doping on January 18, 2010 at 11:28 am

Lance Armstrong is dropping the idea of personal doping tests (our impression was that he never began them). And why not. He isn’t going to change anyone’s mind about the past by testing clean now. And as Joe Papp and others have revealed, there are so many ways to beat the system’s drug testing that it hardly makes sense for a pro to test himself. When so many pros in all sports lie about doping (see entries under “McGwire, Mark” and “Rodriguez, Alex”) with impunity, who is going to believe an athlete’s self-sponsored testing?

We continue to wonder why Lance does not join the BikePure pledge. It would be huge PR for him, and for the organization.

At 35, Michael Rasmussen is on the comeback trail. But tell me how a guy who was never found out, only suspected, in the first place is going to stay clean this time around.

News Cycle: ___spiring, Sam Hill’s narrow miss, Longest wheelie & more

In Bicycle Racing, Lance's Chances, Mountain Biking, News Cycle on January 18, 2010 at 1:41 am

Inspiring: Thousands join Lance’s Twitter ride Down Under. I’m trying to think if I’ve ever seen 5,000 cyclists in a peloton. It must have been quite a sight.

Perspiring: British dude wheelies for 8 miles, claims world record.

Aspiring: The Schleck brothers take aim on this year’s Tour. We’re big fans of Andy Schleck and brother Frank and think they hold the key to this year’s Tour de France. With no obviously dominating team like Astana in 2009, the Tour should be a ripper in 2010. Let’s hope the Schleck’s stay healthy and mix it up!

Re my consternation at Bogota beating out Portland in the world’s Top 10 bike-friendly cities, Tim over at CarFreeDays has a thoughtful response.

Top 10 things you don’t wanna hear after a bicycle accident… and Top 10 things you should do.

LA Streetsblog has argument against bike paths. All well and good, but one note: Crappy LA bike paths don’t mean all bike paths are crappy like LA. Many of the deficiencies raised have been addressed in more bike-friendly places, and in general bike paths are a huge plus for getting the new and timid out on two wheels.


What in Sam Hill?
Aussie downhill king and former World Champion Sam Hill had the Australian Mountain Bike Championship within his grasp but slid out just meters from the finish line. Chris Kovarik claimed the win, epitomizing the expression about better to be lucky…

BikingBis: Mudslide blocks Burke-Gilman Trail.

Some days you think you’ve got problems. Then you read about Mark Weir’s loss

Never too early to Talk Tour

In Bicycle Racing, Lance's Chances on January 11, 2010 at 1:56 pm

The Tour de France is just only a mere six months away! Time to start ramping up the Clash of Titans trash talk between Lance and Bert! We’re glad to see Lance’s comments about beating Contador in the Tour this year. This kind of stuff is great for building commercial sponsorship, media attention and the Big Bucks.

Last year we scoffed at any notion Lance might win the Tour — or any other major for that matter. And despite all the overblown yammering about the Great Comeback, we were right. This year things are a bit different, largely because the two are riding for different teams. Lance says he’s being underestimated because of his age. We agree age isn’t the issue. Nor is conditioning, although we feel Lance will take a hit by not doing the Giro this year. The Tour of California, much as we love it, is not in the same class as the Giro. But Lance has the 2009 season still in his legs.

It’s strategy. And because Lance is a master strategist, and he’ll be riding for a team that’s All Lance All the Time, he has a number of weapons that possibly could maybe might undercut Contador’s obvious physical superiority.

Another factor: People love Lance, even the French who at one time despised him as a suspected drug cheat. People don’t particularly care for Contador, who has the charisma of a tethered cobra. Some riders can play off that to their advantage — Bernard Hinault comes to mind. But it’s not a given in Contador’s case. In fact, psychologically Contador is still somewhat of a black box. He’s a climbing God, but no one knows what’s going on behind his grim visage at any given moment.

Our best guess how it will work out: Lance will continue to chat up the rivalry, drawing lots of attention and generating huge interest. Contador will lay low and play his cards close to his vest. And in the race, they’ll jockey through the first week or two, riveting the cycling and sports world. Eventually, Contador will crush Lance in the mountains. But that will come late enough in this 180-day Kabuki dance that we’ll all have a delicious time enjoying the suspense.

Bicycle Net: Rivalry to intensify.

Great Expectations: Top 10 Bicycling Issues for 2010

In Bicycle advocacy, Bicycle Racing, Lance's Chances, Mountain Biking, Obama Bikes on January 1, 2010 at 3:42 am

Here are our Top 10 things to watch for in the world of cycling for the coming year. Yes we thought about a Top 2,010 list for numerical compliance, but hey, that’d be way too much work.

1. In the Washington State legislature, a “Vulnerable User” bill. Similar legislation failed last year but the Cascade Bicycle Club and its relentless advocacy director, David Hiller, will be trying again. A Traffic Justice Summit in October set the agenda for why legislation is needed: Too many cyclists are being injured or killed with at max a traffic ticket being issued. Growing cycling awareness among elected leaders, particularly in Seattle and King County, should help Cascade’s efforts.

Nationally, watch for additional 3-feet-please laws stipulating wider berth for bikes v. cars.

2. Seattle native Jill Kintner gets her world championship. Kintner narrowly missed the 2009 rainbow jersey in Australia, and the 2009 season that was supposed to be a gradual comeback after winter knee surgery turned into a breakout year. Barring injury, 2010 should belong to Jill. She’s featured btw in a new DVD, “Women of Dirt,” that will premiere in Seattle Feb. 5th.

3. On the road side, how high can Tyler Farrar go? The Wenatchee lad put his stamp on pro sprint competition with a number of impressive showings in 2009, and only a bullet named Mark Cavendish stood in his way for a Tour stage win or two. It’ll be a tall order to beat the Manx Missile, but if anyone has the tools and moxy, it’s a one-year-wiser Farrar.

Flyboys will like it

Stevens Pass Mountain Bike Park: Great things in store

4. Stevens Pass mountain bike park. This has been on the books for what seems like forever, but with release of a sweeping Environmental Impact Statement in December looks ready to finally roll. During the mountain bike season thousands of Seattle-area riders go to Whistler B.C.’s MTB park; it’s time that money and those resources stayed in Washington. Stevens won’t be another Whistler out of the gate of course, but its closer proximity and potential for expansion hold huge promise for the locals.

5. Mayor Mike McGinn’s cycling agenda.
We have big hopes for Seattle’s new cycling mayor and the city’s cycling blueprint. Not that everything will change overnight, but McGinn truly appreciates the bicycle’s role in urban transportation networks, and from his insights and leadership we believe Seattle could emerge as the leading bike municipality in America (currently held by Portland). If nothing else, the mayoral gas bill is sure to shrink from his predecessor’s SUV-hoggin’ totals.

6. Helmet cams rock on. We’re seeing these things everywhere, on freeriders, XC epics, roadie rides. The technology has finally improved to the point where wireless and HD are de facto in new models, plus battery advances mean lighter, less bulky units. The downside is a lot of trail video showing the backside of a guy in front. But for a personal record of your big adventures with virtually no fiddle factor, you can’t beat a helmet cam.

7. More comeback from Lance Armstrong.
The “Lance factor” played a big role in cycling’s expansion through the 2000s and it looks like at least through the coming year Lance will continue to draw headlines. We don’t expect Lance to win, say, the Tour de France, but somehow just being in the race makes him the winner, at least in the American public’s mind. A host of other pro cyclists have more power and ability than Lance at this point in his career, but until someone with enough charm and charisma emerges to take his place, Lance will remain King.

8. Cross-country mountain biking,
too, makes a comeback. This may sound weird, but the signals we’re getting from shops, riders and tour agencies is that the mountain-bike-park thing is starting to flip. (This despite all the excitement over Stevens’ opening.) A new generation of riders whose longest climbs involved a chairlift are going for lighter, longer-distance frames and equipment as a whole new matrix of high-country riding awaits their discovery. Old-timers like us just nod in amusement. Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance’s work on South Snoqualmie Fork trails will pay off in 2010.

9. The economy continues to hammer the bike biz. 2009 totals aren’t available yet, but data through the third quarter suggest a 10 to 20 percent pullback on sales and profit. While much of that is in high-end equipment, and isn’t catastrophic on an annual basis, it nonetheless threatens the sustainability of numerous smaller shops and businesses. Our gut sense is that things will continue — using a bike suspension term — to wallow through 2010, neither much worse nor much better. Only a turnaround in the jobs picture, which will put more people on bikes for transportation and give them discretionary spending for bling and trips, will signal any upside for cycling.

10. Northwest freeride expansion continues. In addition to whatever Stevens Pass comes up with, Galbraith Mountain will undoubtedly continue its march to world-classdom with its ever-expanding, more challenging trails network. Kudos to all the gang up in Bellingham who do such a great job on Galby. Closer to Seattle, Evergreen’s work on Duthie Hill outside of Issaquah is getting all kinds of props. And Evergreen’s Colonnade mini-park under I-5 will remain the best place to sharpen skillz — watch for it in forthcoming DVD format as well.

Duthie Hill from Walter Yi on Vimeo.

Lance’s Chances: Not the team leader, you say??

In Bicycle Racing, Lance's Chances on December 11, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Whatever else you can say about Lance Armstrong, and we do a lot and often, he’s a master of public relations. He is helped along by the fact the bike press seems to have no institutional memory, but Lance spins as well off the cranks as on.

The latest: “Lance says he will not be Team RadioShack’s main rider,” from the widely watched, respected, and linked Guardian. Now the Guardian, to be fair, is not the bike press and perhaps can be forgiven. But really, Lance not “the main rider” of ANY team Lance is on? Puhleez.

It should be noted off the top that nowhere does Lance actually say what the headline says. What Lance did say is that it would be “irresponsible” to build TRS (techie aside: Remember those initials? As in the TRS-80, or Trash 80 as we unaffectionately nicknamed it?) around him. OK, fair enough: Parse the statement out and it’s more or less true. You want other potential winners on the team, which was not the case back when Lance was riding for Discovery Channel and U.S. Postal.

But parse it any way you want: It doesn’t mean he won’t be the “main rider.” I suppose you could split hairs about what “main rider” means, so let’s put it in simplest terms. Main rider means the focal point of the team, the team leader, the chief strategist, the guy everyone looks to for direction. No disrespect to Levi or Andreas or whomever, those guys are not going to be TRS’s “main rider” as long as Lance is in town.

What you have to keep in mind here is that Lance, at this point in the 2010 season (yeah it’s early, as in 2009), wants to get everyone on his side and on the same page. He also wants to deflect attention away from himself for the sake of team building. Kudos on those fronts.

We went through this same poor-mouthing a year ago, when there was no way Lance was going for a Tour victory, and there was no way Alberto Contador was not going to be Astana’s “main rider.” The next thing we knew there was the famous breakaway in Stage 3 and all hell broke loose.

We don’t blame Lance for gullible news reports. It’s up to the press to reality-check his truth massaging. But we’re not going to spend too much time between now and July 2010 trying to figure out who, if not Lance, will be Team Radio Shack’s main rider.

As the VeloNews version noted, after taking the same bait as the Guardian, team director Johann Bruyneel admitted, “Lance is definitely the leader of the team.”

Bicycle.net: Lance says he’ll race for two more years.

Why Lance is always Da Leadah!!

Daily Roundup: Video detection for cyclists, Lemond-Trek update, Lance trains on mtb, Million Car Challenge, Happy Birthday Jacquie!

In Bicycle advocacy, Bicycle Racing, Daily Roundup, Lance's Chances, Mountain Biking, Obama Bikes on December 9, 2009 at 3:16 am

Innovative use of signal-mounted cameras to automatically change light to green when cyclists are at intersection. Santa Clarita CA, named in 2007 a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, has requested $390,564 to fund a “Bicycle Video Detection Project.”

VeloNews: More on the LeMond—Trek legal spat, this time with backstory of Greg dissing Lance.

The secret is out! Lance and his new Team Radio Shack are training on mountain bikes!


Cyclelicio.us
: The Million Car Challenge to allow bikes to use the full right lane.

Happy birthday Jacquie Phelan!

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