bikes & album covers

yes i really have nothing to do today.

and as a result, i thought i’d bore the heck out of myself by googling about my internet for bicycles on album covers.

here is what i found.

and yes.

my internet. not yours. you’ve been warned.

sc256jacketv6

hipster overload. Cayucas take the relationship between The Beard & The Bicycle to a whole new level with their drummer, riding the bike on the right.

they sound a little like Vampire Weekend – but not quite.

here they are in action:

cover_49571811102009

Boud Deun. nope, i never heard of them either.

and here’s their video for ‘Waterford’. 516 views – get in!

Livingston-Taylor-Bicycle

James Taylor’s younger brother. nice enough cover, though personally i think those wheels need an upgrade. some Zipp 808s would do the trick.

trueoriginality

The Cool Kids. a ridiculous cover. everyone knows fish only ride road bikes. hippety hop!

and finally…

album+1

my personal favorite. rocking a Colnago and a beard, before beards became ‘beards’, if you get me. rock on soft prog rock/elevator music/music to die by!

 

 

 

i hate cycling

you know these days?

got up late. meant to get out at 8am but woke up at 8, thus throwing everything off by an hour.  why does it take me a whole hour and sometimes longer to get out the door? today was even worse.

sat down to have a look at my emails and was inundated, some stuff i just had to do immediately. this led to replies. and more stuff. and more stuff.

and – you get the picture.

then i realised i had a flat. i tried to fix the flat, had a nitemare getting the tire back on. tightest tires in the WORLD. snapped my last remaining tire lever in the process, used a spoon as it was all i could find, then finally got to pumping.

my floor pump decided it just wasn’t gonna work with the new valve. great. so i used my hand pump.

‘it’s going up…. no, it isn’t… is it? f******ck!’

sweaty. angry. despondent.

me

me

flat tire. pinched the tube with the spoon.  no more levers. bike shop thirty minutes walk away. roasting hot outside. laid out on bed depressed. decided not to ride. writing here instead.

runners? all they need is shoes.

kickabout with a ball? just need a ball.

cycling? an avalanche of crap is required.

top all this off with the fact that i have had a bad back for the past 2 weeks and ridden a whole THREE hours in that time, in much pain, add in a typhoon or two, and a short-term move to Hong Kong for three months, AND a 4 stage bike race commencing in the Philippines on Friday that i am in zero shape for, and yes…

sometimes, it is true, i hate cycling.

Crank Punk Coaching Systems: Tom Little on top of the podium!

Tom Little came on board the good ship Crank Punk Coaching Systems only on August 18th this year, after a season of racing MTB and road in which he felt his stamina and ability to hang in whilst the changes in speed went down were lacking.

we got to work on amending that, something i thought would take a while before it started to show results but Tom, 35, originally from England and now living in Dubai, decided he was having none of that, and went and won his first MTB XC race (the Turn & Burn Dubai XC TT) of the season last Saturday – by over a minute from the 2nd placed rider!

definitely a fast-responder. he worked hard on the longer to mid-range interval work I had him on, combined with long, focused tempo rides and the results are in, and it’s looking like it could be a successful season.

forza Tom, nice work!

Tom Little cracking the course at the Turn & Burn MTB XC TT

Tom Little cracking the course at the Turn & Burn MTB XC TT

 Tom rides for the CycleHub/Specialized Dubai team

Crank Punk Coaching Systems & ANZA Cycling club join forces!

(CAPITALS here are, I think, appropriate…!)

I am very proud to announce that the ANZA Cycling club have chosen to accept Crank Punk Coaching Systems as their official coaching provider!

crankpunk mirror cpcs logo

ANZA is the largest club in Singapore with over 300 members and plays an active role in the local cycling scene and indeed all around Asia.

The initial coaching will cover a 3-month trial period to be extended to one year.

I’d like to offer a huge thanks to long-time CPCS client and ANZA Cycling Road Director, Don MacDonald, for his support in all this. Many thanks, Don!

You can read Don’s testimonial on the CPCS training methods and the results here (about halfway down), as well as that of another ANZA rider, Steven Wong, here.

More can be read on the partnership by clicking on the image below.

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 13.53.10

 

Oslo research shows benefits of doping ‘lifelong’ – so ban them for life

this article originally appeared on The Roar

______________________________

Either that or, we should all just stop being so British (and Scandinavian).

For, according to Mike Costello, sports writer, it seems that it is the UK, Finland, Denmark and Sweden that almost uniformly castigate drug cheats, whilst “in other parts of the world [the reaction] is nothing like as venomous.”

In fact, says Costello on a recent BBC Radio 5 program, “Some people chuckle at how venomous we can be, and also countries like Sweden and Denmark and Finland, countries that have a real passion about coming to grips with drug cheats.”

Continue reading

Lombardia, Astana and their Dirty Duo, and Women’s Prize Money (Again)

It wasn’t so much that there wasn’t enough to write about on any one of the subjects included here in the title of this article, but more that all three are deserving of being given some attention, the first because it is constantly overlooked, the second because it is an example of the willfully overlooked, and the third because well, it’s worth looking at (again).

So, not so much as a ‘Top 3 Talking Points’ but more like ‘Top 3 Things That Suck.’

What sucks about the Giro di Lombardia is that very few people seem to be bothered taking it seriously. A travesty! The Classic of the Dead Leaves (or a classica delle foglie morte for those who’ve eaten all their spaghetti) is just that, a proper classic.

The first edition was in 1905, which makes it 108 this year, an age bettered by very few one day races anywhere. It was originally called Milan-Milan for reasons I can’t quite fathom, but it does lack a little in the imagination. Not that that should detract any from what is a magnificent race.

The route has changed a great deal over the years but the two constants are Lake Como and the Madonna del Ghisallo climb, the latter of which is one of the great iconic landmarks in world cycling. Sean Kelly and the great Henri Pelissier are the only non-Italians to win the race three times, but it is the Italians who have dominated throughout the lifespan of the event, winning a whopping 67 times, compared to Belgium’s 7 wins, the nation second in the rankings.

1581620674_80837df8df

inside the Madonna del Ghisallo

Why is it so good? It’s not just the length that it has been running, it’s also the hilly parcours, the winding lanes that feature towards the end no matter, it seems, where it finishes, the Madonna climb, the sweeping views of the lake, the fact it is in Italy and they are mad for it, the fact Fausto Coppi won it five times and because it just is a proper classic of a one dayer.

Why has it been neglected so often? Well it doesn’t help that the organisers change the route so much, nor that it comes at the end of the year and after the World’s when many a fan is ready to hibernate or do something unfeasibly ridiculous like build up a fixie and buy a flat-nebbed baseball hat, nor that it has had its name changed from the Giro di Lombardia (its proper name), to Il Lombardia and finally now to the Tour of Lombardy.

Get a grip, please, Signori! Anyway, watch it, you’ll be suitably rewarded.

On to Astana. First Valentin then Maxin Iglinsky get popped for le dopage. Well done lads, maître must be proud, she’s raised a proper little pair hasn’t she? I raced against both these guys and I didn’t like them then. That was a few years ago now and there was a rumour that all was not as it seemed in that Kazakhstan team in which they then rode.

Ah well, they got them in the end I suppose, though not until both got some decent cash out of their flaunting of those things, what are they called… ah yes, almost forgotten them – the rules.

So what would you recommend? If you have two riders on your team busted for doping shouldn’t the management get a special prize?

Like a lifesize toy -the kind you get at the circus for knocking over bottles with a BB gun – maybe of Mickey Mouse? Or perhaps the UCI could dock the team 500 UCI points and see how they get on the next time their World Tour license comes up for revision? Or maybe we just do… nothing.

I vote for the latter. Why change things now, when they are running so smoothly.

Astana though did sign the MPCC charter, which calls for any team that has two riders test positive within 12 months to withdraw itself from competition for 8 days. However Astana will still be lining up at the start in Lombardy this weekend because they say they will wait for the return of Iglinsky’s B sample. Another example, like so many others, of a team putting itself before the integrity of the sport from which it feeds.

Maxim Iglinsky and another fine ride

Maxim Iglinsky and another fine ride

And finally, at the back end, as they usually are, the women.

What an absolute load of tosh I have been reading these past few days after what was in all honesty a dull old World Championships. Many male commentators watched the women’s race and then said it was ‘boring’, so the women (and anyone else who points it out) should shut up about the yawning chasm in prize money. A reasoned point of view that one, well done lads.

One that needs no further comment, really. One dull race does not an argument make.

But more seriously, I have first hand experience with the difficulty of changing things around when it comes to getting the pay levels raised. I am a consultant for a big Asian race and we have several fantastic female riders coming over, absolute top level riders.

In fact, so good is the women’s list looking that it rather puts the men’s in the shade, and more than a little. This in spite of the fact that the men’s prize pot is something like five times bigger than the women’s.

And yet there are several top female cyclists mailing me and still wanting to come. Why? Because they very often race for absolutely nothing, and something is better than nothing.

The other reason is that several male riders won’t get out of bed for less than a few grand. The vast majority of female riders though are living proof that women do not get into this sport to get rich – they truly are doing it for the love.

Now, personally I’d like the pot for each to be the same, but I am not funding the event. It really is a step by step deal. It is frustrating, and I am probably going to get in trouble for saying this, but it should, absolutely, be equal, but the sponsors have different ideas.

So we hope for success this year, to have something tangible to show, and then we push for more next.

Something even close would be good, and I think that is something many women who race desire and that many who moan on about this issue negatively don’t get – it is not necessarily absolute parity that is the demand of most – it is just to get somewhere even close.

Something like 400 euro for the winner of the women’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad race, 95,000 euro for the men. I mean, seriously?

And on that note – enjoy Il Tour di Lombadia on Sunday!