Rush Limbaugh has his . . . well, here is mine. This is my record of news stories and issues that interest me. You can also find more headlines at the site where I serve as editor: The Common Voice.

Monday, July 30, 2007

From two wheels to four

The Tour De France finished up yesterday with the almost boring ride into Paris. With only 31 seconds separating third from first, you kind of hoped there would be some run for time bonuses. Oh, well, TRADITION!

The NASCAR boys were back in action after a week off. They ran in the tradition rich confines of the the Brickyard. I didn't get to see the end of the race, but I was glad to see Gordon came home in third. He continues to add to his points lead - and I keep adding to my lead in the fantasy league!

Team Pts
Pts Team
paitracing 320 vs. 239 A_Junior_Fan
BBuck 455 vs. 291 Super_D
thewildcard 188 vs. 399 DraftingWithYates

I still maintain six race lead over BBuck. DraftingWithYates has moved into a tie for second place with BBuck. Both of those teams have really started coming on toward the end of the season.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Two jerseys and a rainy day

Last night just before going to ball game, I connected with Precise Imprintable Products and picked up my Ride for Mike jersey. We were rushing to get it done by Friday evening so that I could have it this morning when I was to be presented a George Hincapie autographed jersey before the Sunshine Cycle Shop ride.

Here is my jersey! After riding in the rain...

I woke up to find it raining. Oops. Not sure we would ride, but I knew someone was going to be coming to the shop to present the jersey. So I loaded up the bike on my car and drove over. No one was there. As I started to drive away, Art (a Saturday morning regular) pulled up. We decided to wait and see if anyone else would show up.

That is when Kevin showed up with the jersey. We talked a little bit about Mike and the P3 ride. Since no one else was there, he went ahead and took a picture of me with the Hincapie jersey and went on his way. Shortly after, Tyler (a shop employee) showed up with his mother and the four of us rode an abbreviated course in the rain.

Got home and turned on the TV to check out the time trial of the Tour De France. What a finish! I'm so glad I was able to see it. Levi turned on the afterburner and to have just around 30 seconds between the yellow and third place is amazing after thousands of miles is amazing!

Just crossing my fingers on the doping stuff. There is a rumor that another rider has tested positive.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What a day!

I got home from work today to find a yellow Tour De France hat that might brother-in-law brought me from Paris. I looked at it and it felt anti-climatic. I had looked forward to getting it, but now I wondered if I would ever wear it.

It has not been a good week or so for cycling fans. All of the doping scandals made my bright yellow hat seem a little dull. Still, it is a cool hat and I'm sure it will help keep my bald head from getting sunburned.

I put up my hat and headed to the evening meeting at my church. Upon returning home around 9 PM, I turned on the TV to see a BREAKING NEWS banner going across the bottom. It was telling us that Michael Rasmussen had been removed from the Tour by his Rabobank team.

Whoa - that I didn't expect. I was pretty bummed that Rasmussen held off the Disco boys. I had hoped today that Contador would tighten the screws and crack the Dane. I wanted Rasmussen out, but not from being withdrawn - but by getting beat!

We can only hope that this will be the Tour De Changement. Is it too much to hope that this will be the beginning of reformation in the sport? These riders have almost brought the Tour De France - and cycling - to its knees.

I guess I'll put my hat on in hope of that...

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Monday, July 23, 2007

You go, George!

I get kind of tired reading the Tour coverage in The Greenville News. They always want to give us an update on George Hincapie, but they don't seem to know what they are talking about.

They only seem to think in terms of the yellow-jersey. "Hincapie looses two spots." "Hincapie gains two spots." I hate to tell them, but this experienced rider is not there to hold a high spot in the general classification.

What he is supposed to do is exactly what he did today. He got in the lead group to take a position in the front and then he sacrificed himself to put the hammer down to control the breakaway. Then he fell back to pick up Contador and Levi. Big George was clearing the way! I thought he was going to go and ride away from his teammates! What he did was deliver Contador with some fresh legs to extend time on the other GC riders (except Rassmusen).

Hincapie can sleep well. He did his job and he shares in Contador's success. Everyone in the peloton knows he is one of the best lieutenants ever.

I was sad to hear that Fast Freddie had to drop out of the Tour. We don't have a lot of American's left! I don't see Levi, George, or Chris Horner dropping out.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Dope and a hope

Michael Rasmussen still holds the Yellow Jersey and the Tour appears to be headed for the uncertainty of another doping scandal. Only a few more days to see the jersey pass to another rider. I respect the fight Rasmussen has put up to retain the leader's jersey, but I certainly don't want to see the Tour have to face another year like last year.

Being American, I follow closely the Disco boys. As a Specialized rider, keep my eyes on the QuickStep Innergetic team with their rock star leader, Tom Boonan. Don't think the QSI team has a chance at the Yellow, but Alberto Contador with Discovery Channel appears to be one of the best chances to take Rasmussen and doping off of the headlines. I guess at this point, I'll be pulling for the Russian and hoping that Levi will pull off an outside miracle.

Of course, it would have been the story of the Tour had Alexander Vinokourov been able to back up his time trial effort from yesterday. Now, he is nothing more than a memory. In a week, the whole race will be a memory. How long will we have the doping cloud remain?


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Doing a little climbing in the park

I don't feel good. Maybe it is because I'm seeing the cardiovascular power of those Tour De France riders! When they are tooling along at 100 bpm, my heart would be banging away at 160 to 170 bpm.

I have not had a regular training routine in several weeks. This week I was off the bike Sunday through Tuesday because of my Grandfather's funeral. Tuesday I managed to get on the trainer (I've converted my ProFlex 757 into a stationary bike) and put in about 20 miles. I did the same on Wednesday evening. I couldn't wait to get back on the road!

What I found was that I am not nearly as in shape as I was before my surgery. Before the break, I really had to work hard to get my heart rate into 180s. The last two times out I have hit a max of 191 bpm. I can power up a climb over 20 mph, but then I feel like puking at the top as my HR soars.

I guess I just need to get back in the saddle and build my base miles up again. By the way, on my ride tonight, I crossed the 3000 mile mark since last August.

I'm typing this while watching the TDF. They were just talking about Hincapie just a few moments ago. Old Bob doesn't even know how to say "South Carolina." He calls it "Southern California." Then they have the audacity to think we don't know how to say, "Pla d'Adet." Who has trouble saying things? Either way, I enjoy watching the Tour da frantz.

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