2006 certainly is a big year for cycling. Armstrong
is gone, and the cycling world waited in anticipation for a new generation
of riders to succeed his throne. Names of many pretenders and contenders
were thrown around and I was quite excited for the Tour to start. I was
anticipating great battles between McEwen, Pettachi, and Boonen. I was
expecting battle royale in the high mountains between Basso and Ulrich.
All set for an exciting TdF.
Boom or rather Blap! Pettachi
crashed, Boonen petered out, but at least McEwen delivered. I have great
respect for the pocket rocket despite his often unconventional racing
tactics. Like I said, he delivered. No excuse given. A real sprinter, to
me at least. Only wish Zabel won a stage, he is such a great sportsman to
Basso and Ulrich provided much publicity to the Tour,
but what at what cost! Well, someone once said, no publicity is bad
Just when we thought the
cycling rags have a field day on the doping scandals, cycling was hit with
a double-shot expresso. Floyd Landis rise from hero to zero to hero and
zero again was almost like climbing the
itself. Hors Category award goes to Landis!
So here I am wondering what
has become of the sport we loved so much... can cycling take another hit
before 2006 is up?
Well, there're always two
sides to a coin...
ratio. Thanks to Landis, I can now impress my non-cyclist friends
about my "medical" knowledge! This is the latest medical
stuff I learn from cycling. I can't even pronounced it yet, but hey...
I know it before the football fans.
Before getting into cycling, I would be proud to know what criterium
racing is. Now I know there are crit-racing and then there are another
type of "crit-racing".
threshold-training, anaerobic-threshold, VO Max, slow-twitch,
fast-twitch, don't you just love those terms? Suddenly, I feel so
well-educated compared to my err,, golf-club-swinging and rugby
friends. I don't have any wrestling fans, or at least openly declared
wrestling fans, but I'm sure I still sound more intelligent when I can
talk about aerobic threshold, lactate threshold compared to headlock,
body-slam blah blah blah.
and low-glycemic food, carbo-loading, isotonic drinks, protein-shake,
bodyfat percentage. I wouldn't have a clue about all these if not for
cycling. Now, I can spar with all those protein-shakes in Planet
learned a few strange words like peloton, bidon, derailleur, lanterne
rouge, etappe, ... Man, I feel more sophisticated already just being
able to pronounced Alpe d`Huez and Ventoux correctly :)
the past, my hands wasn't able to tell the difference between a kilo
or two with my eyes wide open. Now, I can tell the difference of 50gms
when I am holding two objects with my eyes closed. So, this sport
improves more than just my aerobic fitness! Right now, I still can't
feel the difference between 6-layer and 9-layer carbon weave, but I am
working on it.
other sports allows me to wear gaudy colors since golf has gone
mainstream. But golf doesn't allow you to shave your legs and make
excuses for it. So if you have fetish for smooth skin, cycling is good
for you! By the way, I don't shave my legs, hair is a precious
commodity to me, if you've seen my head you'll understand why.
of drag, rotational weight, rolling resistance, stiffness to weight
ratio, Q-factor, stress-risers, asymmetric chainstays, asymmetric
lacing, blah blah blah. Suddenly, I am not just a medical-expert, now
I am an engineer and ergonomist all rolled into one! I am sure your
average hockey player wouldn't have so much to talk about the hockey
To all you depressed angry
disappointed cycling fans and cyclists out there, take heart! There is
still hope in our chosen sport. Cycling is a very resilient sport because
we can actively participate in it. Cycling is one sport where we can
intimately feel the pain and the suffering of the participants and our
heroes when they sprint for the line or crawl up the mountain because
whatever fitness-level you are, you can feel the same pain and lactic burn
when you are doing it yourself. The pain is just as real! I can't say that
about ice-hockey, motor-racing, boat-racing because you need a certain
level of skill or financial resources to be able to do the stuff we see on
TV. Cycling is a democratic sport, not just for the elite.
So, now I have convinced
myself to stay away from buying the fish-tank for another year! Why did I
mentioned fish tank? Many T@ members are greying and a few starting
rearing fish, to my horror! You know who you are...
Wishing you a great second
half of the year, bring on the Vuelta!!
OldMan (no fish tank, no EPO,
just pure fun...)