Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I'm not backwards in coming forwards in the fact that I can't stomach The Shaman Pharmstrong. You'd have to have been living under a rock to not realise that.

So I was more than a little peeved to see that he planned to commence his money-spinning mission, er, I mean comeback, at the Tour Down Under in January. But it looks like we might be able to keep our race unadultarated because of the UCI's anti-doping rules which state that a rider making a feeble attempt to 'clear' his name, er, I mean comeback, has to be registered in their testing program for the 6 months prior to their publicity stunt, er, I mean comeback.
I'm not alone in my distaste for Pharmstrong's pathetic attempt at false credibility, er, I mean comeback. Here's some Words Of Wisdom From Other Blogs courtesy of the always entertaining Drunk Cyclist...

"There has been a lot of talk, on this site and others, about Lance Armstrong’s return to the pro peloton, his “transparent’ comeback, and what it will prove.

It will prove nothing.

The problem is this: testing Mr. Armstrong heavily during his comeback will not, does not, and cannot answer the question at hand - did he dope? It is a logical fallacy to test him in 2009, not find evidence of doping, and proclaim he has been clean throughout his entire career.

If I go into a Basha’s supermarket tomorrow and walk out with nothing other than the merchandise I paid for at the cash register, it does not mean I have never shoplifted from that store at any point in my life. I could have stolen something last week. Or, at some point today. It would demonstrate only that I did not steal on that particular visit to that particular store.

Mr. Armstrong’s openness to testing during his ‘09 comeback does not answer the question of his 1999 Tour performance against a doped field with blood later shown [with modern testing] to indicate the use of EPO. It does not answer the question of his association with Michele Ferrari. It does not answer the question of his teammates on Motorola & US Postal admitting their own EPO use. In short, it doesn’t answer any of the relevant questions surrounding Mr. Armstrong’s cycling career.

It can only show, at best, that he ran it clean for a few months in 2009 when his best years were far behind him."

And here's the inimitable BikeSnobNYC's take on Pharmstrong's 'performance' at CrossVegas last week.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Vege not vegan

There are just some things I can't get my head around. Soy cheese is one of them. Life without chocolate is another (though only on muesli bars). And eggs have got to stay (strictly free-range of course). So I'm a vegetarian, not a vegan. Every other choice has been easy, but the clincher for retaining a little cheese would have to be this....

Monday, September 22, 2008


Not content with making a comeback that no-one wants to see, The Shaman (aka Pharmstrong on some other blogs) now wants to not only turn the world's greatest sporting event into another bore-fest, but he wants to buy the whole shebang. I suppose you can't be not invited or thrown out of your 'own' race...

But where will the money come from? Why not siphon it off the top of your charity organisation ? (It seems Ron over at cozybeehive isn't impressed either.)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The world could be in trouble

even more than it is now if the Republicans take office in the US elections. And knowing how the redneck right is prevalent over there, it could be a reality that a God-fearing, gun-toting, pro-life (Bill Hicks tells it like it is) self-professed "hockey mum" could have her trigger finger on the button to WWIII. It's scary. At least some Americans can see the danger.... Jon Stewart (and Stephen Colbert) know what's goin on. Small town mentality... so scary it's funny, so funny it's scary. (Ya gotta love the gay dude who hates gays!)

And while Pamela Anderson may be known as just a pair of tits, she is a hardcore animal activist and does great work for PETA. She also can see through the Palin smokescreen. New-found respect for you, Pam. And on the subject of animal rights etc, I've finally taken the extra steps to vegetarianism bordering on veganism. I've tried it before with varying results, but this time I'm giving it a real shot. After all, I've been supporting and contributing to WSPA for more than ten years, so I thought it a bit hypocritical to be eating animal products and be contributing to cruelty and environmental issues. I didn't eat much meat anyway, so it wasn't a big thing really... but cutting out milk and dairy was more of a challenge, but one I've found pretty easy too. Rice and soy milk both taste great and soy yoghurt is just the same. Soy cheese isn't as bad as I thought it would be, and I only use it for pizzas anyway. Tempeh is a real find. Thanks to my good friend Andrea for the inspiration and tips. My diet is probably better now because I look for protein-rich foods and eat more fruit, nuts and vegetables than before. Chips and chocolate have been replaced by roasted chick peas, dates, raisins, pumpkin seeds, currants, nuts. I'm feeling good, and my conscience does too. As for effecting my riding, no problem, I'm actually finishing long rides stronger, and am hacking up less, something my riding buddies no doubt appreciate. Organic Athlete has heaps of good info on fueling up, something I'm gonna need lots of for this race in a couple of weeks.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Caleb compensates

He hasn't got a track bike, but maybe Caleb had 'chainring envy' when he put this 800mm wide bar on his Nomad. Or was it because he has delusions that he's a 6'4", 110kg version of Sam Blenkinsop? But he did chop it down to a not-as-insane-but-still-tree-grabbing 760mm....

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Who said Ska and mindless false prophet worshipping don't mix? (with a nod to the bummer life for the heads up...)

The lyrics are eerily prophetic though, especially the lines "Jesus came and found me, he touched me down inside.... he is like a mountie, he always gets his man".... do they mean like this?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Back in black (and white)

I've been a Mac user for a long time. When I arrived in NZ, I didn't know how long I'd be here, so I used internet cafes and then my work computer to do my blogging and writing. Windows machines of course.

I thought I'd put up with it until I could get my iMac sent over. I survived until a few weeks ago when I decided a laptop would be the way to go, and thinking more about money than performance I bought a Dell unit.
Great value, plenty of power. But I just couldn't get my head around it as my own computer, not having a happy time with Vista, and now I sit here typing away on a new MacBook. I'm back in a Mac in black, and I'm not going back.
Something else I've spent some coin on recently was some gear from rapha, a couple of fixed t-shirts and this beautiful work of art, the Rouleur photo annual.

Images of the very best quality, which take a look at cycling like you've never seen it before. Stunning black and whites and colour shots, revealing the grit and sweat of the road, the track and cyclocross. Inspiring, makes you want to pull on a wool jersey and ride past an old church.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Say it ain't so

Not content with having ruined the world's greatest sporting event as a spectacle for seven years, the serial blonde-stalking, water wasting, animal-hating asshole The Shaman is rumoured to be returning to throw his weight around in the peleton again next year. And with which team? Well, the one with the best drug program, of course. Geez, why not get Hamilton, Landis, Heras, Basso and all his other doper cronies back as well and form 'Team Top Fuel, Powered by Excuses'. I just threw up in my mouth a little. And I'm not alone.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Compensator

Readers of the SSSS blog will have noticed that Josh has a track bike now. Bets are on as to how long before it shows up on TradeMe. But in the meantime, as is his wont, it's undergone component changes before a pedal is turned in anger (and yes, there is anger). One of the upgrades he's made is to swap out the 'piddly' 48 tooth ring for this 52t monster. Like wearing a too-small t-shirt to show off your 'guns', or driving a big 4WD or V8 car. You know what they say; big chainring....

Thursday, September 04, 2008

WOWFOB 3... wheelin and dealin

What is it about a bike shop that implores customers to believe it is their God-given right to ask for, or even demand, a discount on their purchase? It's frustrating to be put in such a position constantly. I'd feel embarrassed if I got to the supermarket checkout and profered "can you chuck in the milk for free?" or "how about a dollar off the bread?"... "any better price for cash? I shop here all the time, I must've bought 200 loaves off you over the years."

Todays Words Of Wisdom From Other Blogs comes from Bike Hugger.

Hi. Thanks for coming into my shop and taking part of the consumer experience. Your disposable income is the sole source of our meager profit margins that support the shop’s overhead and indirectly my income.

What’s that? You’d like to ask me a bunch of questions? Why sure, I’d love to take time away from the other tasks that would have had priority over your whimsical visit, after all, I am a living reference free of charge.

No, no, no, you cannot combine that esoteric and ridiculous component with your current bike without making substantially difficult to explain modifications to the entire system. I am going to explain this to you, so please interrupt me repeatedly.

Pardon me? You know a guy whose friend is a hunchbacked transvestite who used to work on bikes in Walmart…and he/she said it would work? My goodness, then I must be wrong! What qualifications could I possibly have…other than a decade of bike shop employment…to refute such gospel?

Yes, I can get the proper part for this amount of money. Why does it cost so much? I am so glad you asked! Let me take a sip of Pepsi before I explain economic theory, supply/demand, the relationship of production volume and unit cost, the….oh,oh, I see now, that was a rhetorical question! A verbal exercise to inspire an epiphany within me! How thoughtful of you….and here I thought I was the one enlightening you.

Oh, I see where the confusion lies… you were looking at the price in the distributors’s catalog I provided so that you could see a picture of the product. Ah yes, that price is what we in the retail industry call “wholesale”. It’s what we pay, and then we make you pay what is called “retail price”, which is Latin for “it’s how a f$%^%ing store can afford to exist.”

Okay, so for today you will take just these Sidi shoes and a set of Speedplay pedals, and instead will order the part I spent the last 30 minutes explaining from mail order. Splendid!

What’s that? Can you have a “bro deal”? Why yes, since you ask for it like that I would be more than happy to violate the trust of my employer and offer these items to you at a fee that entirely denies my employer of any benefit of the wages they pay me for the time I spent answering your tedious questions. After all, if I get no benefit from this transaction, neither should they. I mean, what are brothers for? I am sure I could go to your dental office next week and ask for a “bro deal” on that root canal and crown…or maybe you work in city development and you could…like develop a…um, road for me…or something.

You know, “Brother”, I don’t really know what it is that you do…but chances are it’s nothing that I can cash in on. But never mind about that. I will offer you it for this price.

Excuse me? Such-and-such-a-company is offering it online for less than my bro deal? Alright, asswipe, I’m gonna call your bluff right now. I know for a fact that you are wrong. You think I don’t know how to use the internet? You think you’re gonna school me on the bicycle industry? Those companies have internet sales agreements, you cannot beat the offer I set in front of you. And when I offer you a bro deal, you may accept or decline, but you better keep your mouth shut unless it is to say “thank you.” One more word, and the price goes back up 10%…..yeah, keep whining…okay, now it’s “full retail” again.

You’re welcome…..”Bro”

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

You do it to yourself

and that's what really hurts. Heard this on the (crappy) radio today and got the shivers as normal when Radiohead fills my senses, and thought about this brilliant video. Any lip readers?