Ok I’m back watching the tour this year after a two year protest and I’m hooked – again. France is just such a beautiful country to enjoy from the seat of a race helicopter or a motorbike. Its like a three week summer tour of western Europe without the time and expense of an actual trip.
Having followed this race from 1988, when my favorite American rider last won it, Greg LeMond. It does make me cringe somewhat to see the Yellow Jersey being worn by a rider from team Astana. A team with a history doping allegations including Lance Armstrong, Alberto Contador and the current team manager and former rider Alexander Vinokourov. So…I like to think this years Yellow Jersey rider is clean?
But yes I am very much enjoying this years tour and eagerly look forward to watching each stage every evening. With a smile and smirk on my face, viva le Tour de France.
Mountain Charlie road high in the Santa Cruz mountains is one of my favorite weekend bicycle rides. Its a very rough and steep road, even riding a mountain bike. It takes about sixty minutes to climb the 2,000 feet up to the summit but the fifteen minute downhill back to Glenwood road is an awesome reward. Its a crazy decent with a lot of tricky turns, unexpected cars and fast vanishing point drop-offs. A bicycle is the fastest way to go.
Lately I’ve been spending a fair amount of time with drones and remote controlled helicopters. I was even able to register chaperonedrone.com for some future project. Today I came across this concept from Frog Design and I love it. Other then the problem of drones having an average flight time of 15 minutes and my rides usually lasting between 1:30 to 2:30 minutes, in a few years I can easily see this cycling drone concept in use.
“One, dubbed the Cyclodrone, was inspired by one designer’s frequent rides in the hills of Oakland, Calif. The concept calls for a drone that would fly in front of and behind cyclists to alert drivers of their approach.”
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/frog-drones-could-save-your-life-2014-1#ixzz2roii9fs4
Boy these past few months have flown by. For every time I wanted to write a post I could not, or would not make the time. Nice that WordPress has a post backdate feature because it was a very interesting last few months of 2013.
I have always been motivated by the achievements of other humans. Last December in an experiment to clear my mind, I removed every picture from my office except for a few images of guys that I admired for some special reason. At first I was kind of surprised that these last three images left hanging, were human based. But for example, when I needed some inspiration to go for a long cold bicycle ride in the dead of winter, Lance was always there to motivate me to get going.
Last Friday I finally did remove these remaining idols from my wall to be replaced by a simple picture of our solar system. I think I got the idea from the Radio Shack poster, but now that the solar system poster has been up for a few days I really like it. Instead of focusing on people, I now think about planets. Not from a physics perspective, but more from a “zoom-out and chill-out” frame of mind. I think it is a better motivator.
I am pretty happy that justice appears to be winning in the sport of professional cycling these days, probably for the first time ever. That said and I am not sure why, but I am having trouble taking down my Lance poster. It does motivate me to ride on cold, wet, winter mornings. He was the best of the best in a crooked sport.
This week’s announcement that Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his seven tour de France titles was a huge disappointment for this sport and I believe a real embarrassment for all Americans who have participated and for the most part dominated professional cycling these past 15 years. But, I am not going to go off on Lance…as I have writing in previous posts I believe professional cycling has become a joke sport with no signs of gaining any credibility in the near future.
While riding yesterday I did pretend in my head, that if I were running this sport I would make the following changes starting in 2013.
1. De focus individual riders and focus on the teams instead.
2. Award the top cash prizes to the teams, to be split across all members, vs. individual team members.
3. Ban all pharmaceutical companies from sponsoring teams, riders or races.
4. If one team member is caught doping, then the team is automatically disqualified from all races for the remainder of the season.
And for cycling fans, start rooting for teams, not individuals. In my opinion, it is virtually impossible for any clean rider to place first out of one hundred and ninety riders (the tour de France roster) consistently. This expectation is just insane and I believe is the reason riders to take drugs and such to meet this expectation.
I still watch the races, though not as much as before, and never with any real emotion…but I have faith that some day this great sport will prove itself as one of the very best sports on the planet.