Brilliant. I use that word a lot but this work by Arnie Mostowy justifies it.
Is Hitler funny? He is when he’s portrayed as one of the US DoperClique getting pissed off at being busted for taking PEDs.
Lance had his tent, Hitler had his bunker. Wonder if he shaved his legs?
I will serve my suspension. Retire. Then prepare for the gran fondo…
Like I said before, you get the best headlines on crankpunk! Sarvesh, this one is for you…
Many thanks to my friend Michael Troy for this one. Classic.
The Clavicle Diaries, by Michael Troy
T’was the end of a long road season, 2009 to be exact. My coach, good friend and mountain bike nut Mark Fenner suggested for something different to come out and try the dirt. I consider myself a pure roadie, or definitely did back then, but jumped at the idea.
So using my collective resources as a bike mechanic, I borrowed a bike, got cheap shoes and pedals and threw myself at the world of dirt, suspension and knobbly tyres. No experience, hadn’t even done a lap of the course and was standing on the start line. Plenty of road fitness and no off road experience.
Gun goes off, straight up a fire road climb, I’m gunning it and loving it. Red mist descends. It’s a race!
Second into the turn, and oh wait, shit. Cornering. Rear wheel drift, lose surface. What am I supposed to do here! I’m a bit at sea here…
Ah well I’ll go full tilt in the straights and just hit the anchors and go around the corners slower than a granny with a Zimmer frame…
So three quarters of a lap around, maybe 10 minutes in, I’ve been passed by nearly everyone as there were many more corners the straights and I’ve been pin balling off trees and rocks and say to myself “right, time to slow down or you’ll hurt yourself”. So I slowed down, and came a cropper. Went straight over the handlebars through a little dip and laying on the ground with my borrowed bike somehow on top of me I knew straight away I’d done my collar bone.
No strength through the right arm, sore but not excruciating. Straight away in that tell-tale position of my right hand to my left shoulder nursing it. My friend drove me into town, he’s a physio, and has had more broken collar bones himself then fingers on one hand…
Go to the hospital, X-Ray (the most painful part of the ordeal – “Could you please just push your should back against the plate…” Grind, crunch – “Ouch!”). Yes, broken. Nothing too bad apparently according to the X-Ray.
See the orthapedic surgeon, and surgery booked for Monday (it was Saturday). Monday comes around, no sleep, difficult to wash, wipe my arse, or do anything really. Surgery in and out. Easy. Surgeon comes around later, explains that what looked like a simple fracture on the X-ray was instead 6 breaks and 7 pieces of collar bone floating around in my shoulder area.
So 2 inches of titanium and 10 screws are now holding it in position. 4 weeks minimum off the bike, he would prefer 6. No heavy lifting, actually no lifting at all. Sling for 4 weeks. Best to sleep in the sling too he says. Help keep it in place and stop you flapping about he says.
So now comes the bit where I go stir crazy. No exercise, no bike riding for six weeks!!! Like a caged lion, pacing in his den. Nowhere to go, nothing to do. I drive everyone around me around the twist with my craziness. It was close to turning me to drink. Only thing is back then I didn’t even drink (don’t worry I’ve seen the light now!). So sleep is pretty rubbish. Can never get properly comfortable. I do find out that the surgeons idea of sleeping in a sling is a good idea, I just wish I followed it.
I wake up one night after some bizarre dream with a jolt and am swinging my arm around. Jesus wept! The pain! So 3 weeks go past. I can’t lift any of my university text books, still can’t get enough movement to wipe my arse with my right hand, so I’ve had to learn to be ambidextrous for that and other tasks.
High with pain killers, which as a side effect of most of the good ones is constipation, makes me need to strain that bit harder which adds to the pain. Right, I’ve cracked it. 3 weeks, no riding. That’s enough. Let’s get on the trainer. More pain. Trying to lift and move a turbo trainer, then set a bike in. The agony. Sweet baby Jebus…
Finally on the bike, and the boredom! Not winning here at all. Right so 4 weeks (well nearly 4 weeks, more like 3 1/2 , or really just over 3 weeks post surgery), f&ck it. Getting back on the road.
I’ve had my arm out of the sling now a week (and a bit), ok 2 weeks (pharmacists [Michael is one of these] and all health care professionals make terrible patients). I think let’s be pro, so I double wrap my bars, thick and cushy. Get out on the road. Such a bad idea. Such a bad experience.
Every ripple in the road feels like the Forrest of Arenberg and its cobbles. I’m super skittish around traffic, like a wayward mare, for fear of getting knocked off (never have been hit by a car, but the fear was there) and destroying my shoulder (since that plate, with 10 really small screws holding my jigsaw puzzle clavicle together goes right from the tip of my shoulder to my sternum. If I crashed I think my shoulder and it’s structure would be done and dusted!)
Anyway, so I have zero fitness. Can’t get out of the saddle (oh yeah that hurts too much too). It took ages for some resemblance of strength to return (as much strength as road cyclist can every say they have in their upper body). Range of movement was pretty bad too for a very long time. Lots of stretching kinda helped, my massage therapist gained lots of joy from poking and prodding to help free it up.
I think as a consequence of the plate in the shoulder and connective tissue running over it, it would tighten up and become all gnarly and nasty very quickly. Using ruck-sacks was never a joyful experience with the plate in place. The shoulder strap would rub right across the skin and the scar and the plate. So commuting to work was not enjoyable, the saving grace was that it wasn’t a long ride. Call it what you will. But I cannot clean anymore (with my right arm… and it isn’t something that I particularly want to become ambidextrous in…).
The circular scrubbing motion or vacuum cleaning is awful. So after gaining some resemblance of strength, and movement in the shoulder, (oh and bike fitness), there was always a nagging fear in my mind of crashing again on that right side. There would be nothing there for another plate or any room for my orthopaedic surgeon to fiddle with. So 2 and a bit years after getting the closest that I have come to owing a titanium bike, I went under the knife again, with the same surgeon who got the electric drill going and removed each of the ten screws and my titanium downtube from my shoulder.
Through some more rehab again, thankfully things improved much quicker than the first time around. I could wear ruck-sacks again (once the scar had healed). There wasn’t the grabbing catching sensation when I was moving my arm around like I used to get. Where I could feel it catch half way through a tennis swing, or when bowling a cricket ball. Unfortunately my ability to clean didn’t return (for good or for bad…) and I do actually mean that. It is a really uncomfortable, even slightly painful motion when you have the outward pressure of scrubbing or vacuuming.
My right shoulder sits quite a bit lower then my unbroken left shoulder. I have a really good scar running across my collarbone. They always say ‘Chicks dig scars’ – thank goodness as I make quiet a good patchwork quilt of scars.
I was always scared of returning to the scene of my accident, or really any non-paved riding adventures, but was finally convinced into re-trying the dirt. This time, no racing. Just riding in the forest. Learning to corner, brake (not break). Basically to re-learn to ride a bike. Actually I would consider myself more than a novice these days. Actually, while sick for over a year, mountain biking was a great escape.
At a time when I had zero fitness, I couldn’t pedal fast, and I learnt to go around a corner, had mounds of fun all while not putting much physical strain on my body. Going for a cruisy mountain bike ride is a lot more fun than a 30 minute road ride at 24km/h in boring countryside!
I still do dabble with it. It makes for a good adventure and even recovery ride.
A Twitter spat. My first. And with the mighty JV. I am honored.
Some back story…
It’s no secret that I feel that all former dopers – all – should not be welcomed back in any capacity whatsoever into the fabric of cycling, be it as managers, coaches, team owners or administrators.
I also feel that the UCI has to work to foster an environment in which teams are encouraged to and feel perfectly at ease with adopting employment policies which mean former riders and doctors that were/are considered tainted are no longer able to find work within the sport too.
This would mean no Riis, no Vino (well he might be off soon enough), and no Jonathan Vaughters. I’m not the only person to think this way by a long shot, however opinions like this are not often aired on CyclingSnooze nor on any of the other major sites and magazines, because if they were then these media outlets would lose access to quite a few teams and they may lose advertising booty from the team sponsors.
You also have certain former dopers now in management running or on the board of ‘important’ committees and organisations. The oft heard claim is that these former dopers know how to steer the sport along a new course because they have been there, done that.
Or been there, done this, and that, and yeah a bit of that, oh and yes, a shit load of that! And so on.
The problem here, as many can plainly see, is that you have former cheats supplying their own, often-changing narrative, one that justifies their doping in the first place (‘Everyone was doing it’ – not true) – a doping that was uncovered either at the time or years later yet never was confessed to until their pants were already down and their d**ks in hand – that therefore justifies the wealth and status they acquired with it – and finally justifies their position in the sport now (‘I was there, I am sorry, but let me help!’).
It is, as my Gran used to say, a proper bag of bollocks.
If you want to read more on my opinion of Vaughters and these others being in the sport, read here and, if you want to know why I think he should be out of Change Cycling Now, read here. It’s not the first time JV and I have ‘chatted’, previously we were going to have a chat on the phone but it never quite worked out, with, as far as I can recall, nothing but work getting in the way for both of us.
Which brings us to Twitter.
Earlier today I saw a little tweet from Vaughters about how he wished to invite two guys to listen to a talk he was giving in London about something connected to cycling and doping.
I then asked via a tweet if that was after the talk on dopers managing cycling teams.
Vaughters then replied with this:
Jonathan Vaughters (@Vaughters) tweeted at 10:03 pm on Mon, Mar 02, 2015:
@crankpunk101 It was going to be right after the talk on talentless wanna-bes writing self promotional blogs.
The original I either can’t find or has been deleted, but here is an image of the tweet in Q:
Let’s take a look at this, a little more closely… Well, we don’t have to get too close do we.
It’s the Omerta again. ‘Shut up please, your opinion does not coincide with the reality I have constructed so please go away.’
Self-promotional? I can take that, there is an element to that in all we do, and yes there is that here in crankpunk, ego is as ego does, but the points I am making – we are making, meaning a large chunk of cyclists – remain to be answered.
As for the comment on Twitter – thanks. Compliment accepted.
Jonathan Vaughters apologised for his original tweet on Twitter which I read after I posted this and asked to talk. I stand by the article above though, and will be arranging an interview shortly, watch http://www.crankpunk.com for that.
Watching Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne on my ‘new’ telly (borrowed off one of my girlfriend’s relatives ‘for a while’ (I love indefinites)), one of those huge high-definition monsters that I used to say were unnecessary (until I finally got one, I might add), I was all misty eyed and dizzy for the first half an hour, what with the picture quality, the almost nauseating vibrancy of the colors, Boonen and that ultra-solid position of his in full romp and just the fact that the Classics are back!
It got me all emotional it did.
I thought the TV was broken though when Ian Stannard appeared on the front of the break, since he displayed such an aversion to being there the day before at the old Omloop – except for in the last 15 meters. Rumor has it that Lefevre has banned all his riders from flogging on to PornHub.com this week as the Sky’s man win has been uploaded in the Bike Porn Money Shot Belgians section, and there’s little doubt that a) he did have the EQS boys all from behind and b) they could barely walk afterwards.
If that wasn’t bad enough they got another solid spanking on the team bus afterwards.
Speaking of the aforementioned arse-whupping, Lefevre said “YOU F*&%ING IDIOTS HOW THE F*CK DID YOU LOSE THAT?”
Oh wait no, he didn’t, not publicly anyway, what he actually said was: “It hurts, that’s true. I can’t blame the team for anything. I’m proud we added color to the race. We’re ready but it’s very hard to win. With Stannard on the wheels for thirty kilometres everybody was getting nervous. Maybe they made a couple of mistakes but we decided the race. We excelled as a team.”
How do you not blame the team and actually blame Stannard for that epic cock up? It’s obvious that B should not have gone first, but that it should have been T then V if T was unsuccessful then T again if V was not able to get away and then perhaps B if not V again, but B for the final sprint, though for sure the B of old – and I mean last year – would surely have had the gumption to win even if there were no attacks beforehand.
And We decided the race? Talk about selective memory, unless the finish line in Lefevre’s World was 10 meter earlier than in the race I saw…
Back to KBK, which was all far more straightforward. In fact it was so predictable that we can take a moment out to look at the bike fashion going on at this year’s edition of KBK, of KuBuKu, as the French call it.
Worst bike/kit combo of 2015 awarded to Lotto-Jumbo and their TdF yellow kit (which is not terrible) that clashes with their celeste Bianchis. I’ve never been a fan of the Bianchi blue (or is it green?) but this match up just doesn’t work for me at all.
Back to the racing. It was good to see the echelon rearing its ugly head again, been a while since we had really nasty winds in the classics. I used to think headwinds were the worst and they are bad, suffering sometimes for up to an hour if there’s a strong team on the front just praying for a turn, but if you’ve ever been in a race with teams that really know how to ride a hard echelon, then you understand suffering on the flat.
Everyone wants to be in that first string but it’s so hard to get in as all the strong guys will be smashing it to the turn before the crosswind, then they form quickly to keep everyone else out. The guys behind have two choices – either to form a second echelon and risk losing contact with the lead line, or to just string out behind the last guy in the head echelon and ride solo and unprotected in the gutter and hope and pray they find a gap to join the front.
Being in that echelon means you have to work in the wind but critically it affords you some respite. It’s better to be barely fit and to be in it and to hang on than to be quite strong and be behind it, cos eventually the wind will shred you.
Once the break came back it was more or less a procession to the end apart from Gilbert’s attempt, though that was more a training effort than a really hopeful attack. He should be coming better for the Ardennes Classics, though he looks a bit heavy – was it just me or did anyone else think the Belgian looked more muscular than in previous years?
Before the race came into the city, Sky gave a beautiful example of how to do a completely pointless lead-out (basically start 4km too soon and then disintegrate with 3km to go), but wasn’t it mesmerising to see the peloton strung out through the street of Kuurne from the helicopter camera? Absolutely gorgeous shots. That’s the kind of city traffic I’d like to see more of.
The race wasn’t finished quite yet and we were treated to an enthralling sprint that saw Kristoff of Katusha come second to a flying Cavendish, who saved the weekend for EQS.
Decent race, all in all.
Fanny pack? Check.
Daughter’s backpack? Check.
Bike cop uniforms? Check.
Bad-ass attitudes for no obvious reason? Check.
How the heck did these two not get arrested? They’re clearly terrorising this city with their knobbly-antics!
This MTB video from is just awesome in so many ways. It kinda hurts to watch though because I recognise myself in this… I had that helmet and yes, I thought I was this cool too…
You see all kinds of mad things here, and in 15 years out in Asia I can honestly say that I have never been bored on a bike ride. The landscape is fascinating, you have the jungle and the mountains, crazy drivers, and of course you see some weird stuff on a daily basis, like this sign of a dog crapping out a boulder.
That is one sick dog.
Today’s ride (in shorts and jersey with not even so much as an undershirt) took me up the hills near Taichung into the Taiping area, with about 800m elevation gain in a 45km ride. It took me past my favorite temple out here, ‘The Temple of the Incestuous Dragons’ (as I call it), on past the local Bat Cave (no joke) and on up through the lovely, quiet hills.
Beauty. Crankpunk Taiwan Cycling Tours coming soon, watch this space!
This documentary looks at doping in the 80s in the USA, it isn’t cycling-specific, though it is cycling-related as it deals with doping on a systematic and institutionalised scale, nothing most of you won’t have known already but that may be enlightening for some.
Almost comical is the recounting of how many athletes suddenly started wearing braces as a result of taking growth hormone, which makes the jaw grow.
Yeah, growth hormone is a wonderful drug…
Check out the athlete at 22.52 saying how “people had the impression that we were all on drugs at the Olympics, but no! They were all gone, we hadn’t done them in months – it was just training.”
And remember the guy earlier in the film saying that an athlete on steroids could allow and athlete to lift their max twice a day whilst they are on the drugs, whereas normally it’d be once every three days. Hmm, ‘just training’ huh?
This all brings us to the shady Edward ‘Eddie B’ Borysewicz, the USA team cycling coach under whose direction the US team won 9 medals in the ’84 Olympics. You will hear in the doc reference being made to ‘keeping up with the Eastern Europeans’, well, Eddie B brought the ‘knowledge’ of how to do that with him when he left Poland to work with the budding US Olympic riders in ’78.
Interestingly, Eddie B claims Lance Armstrong as his discovery, not Chris Carmichael’s.
Eddie Borysewicz resigned as coach of the American national team in 1987 partly because of disagreements with members of his squad. He started his own amateur team in 1988. Sponsorship by Sunkyong, a Korean electronics firm, ended after a year and Borysewicz sought a replacement in Montgomery Securities. Its chief executive, Thomas Weisel, agreed to a team of 15 that included Lance Armstrong. That team, after several sponsorship changes, became the US Postal Service and Discovery Channel teams for which Armstrong won the Tour de France seven times before those victories were vacated in 2012 after the USADA ruled that Armstrong doped during each of those victories.
Borysewicz claimed Lance Armstrong as his discovery and not that of Armstrong’s later coach, Chris Carmichael When Carmichael said of his work at the US federation that he wished he had “five Lances,” Borysewicz replied,
|“Why doesn’t he (Chris Carmichael) produce Lances? That’s his job. And anyway, Lance is not his product. Lance is my product.”
I know, I have the best headlines huh! That’s one you won’t find on CyclingSnooze…
This week’s Lee’s Lowdown on PezCycling News looks at the opening classics of the season, this weekend’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne.
It also features a former pro’s tale of getting pissed on by Il Campionissimo!
Click the image below to head to PEZ to read the article, thanks!