Saturday on Ventoux or “An American in Paris”

After Saturday’s climb up Mont Ventoux in the Tour de France’s penultimate stage, Lance Armstrong made clear reference to my impending assault on the mountains of Alpine France.

“I can’t complain,” said Armstrong after the stage. “For an old fart coming in here and getting on the podium, [it’s] not so bad.”

Although I was surprised at first, I am currently preparing for the impending contract negotiations with Armstrong’s new Livestrong / Radio Shack team for the 2010 season. Lance’s little “slip” made it clear that he’s aware of my cycling ability and telegraphed his intention for me to lead his new team in next year’s outing. I don’t anticipate much racing next Spring and will be skipping the classics, preferring to prepare solely for the Tour, much in the manner Lance has undertaken over the past 10 years. I will hopefully have a chance to enjoy those races after my eighth Tour victory…again, modeling my career in the manner of Armstrong’s. I’m sure he’s excited about working for me as a “super domestique,” although I anticipate bringing along some of my own cycling teammates, notably the Friday night Social Ride crowd from Higher Ground. This may minimize Lance’s role on the team, though I’m sure he’ll still be available for public appearances, bike-a-thons, and century rides. He will want to “spread the word about his foundation” of course, as he has over the course of the 2009 racing season. It’s amazing how much exposure to European crowds increases the rate of American donation, so imagine what AMERICAN crowds will do!

Unfortunately for Trek, their middle-of-the-road, yawn-inspiring piles of carbon fiber will be replaced by various steel beauties from Richard Sachs, who has yet to comment on his new sponsorship commitment. Team colors are yet to be announced, but they WON’T include yellow, nor that godforsaken hieroglyphic crap that Lance has become so fond of.

Sad, but true.

It’s July, the middle of the cycling season and the middle of the Tour de France, I have a new bike, I’ve been riding, and I haven’t written a single thing. Mostly, I suppose, I’ve been distracted. I’ve been watching the aforementioned bike race on both the Intarwebs and the telly, and that’s taken up a good piece of my evenings and mornings. Afternoons are spent supposedly working while actually reading examinations and speculation of the day’s Tour stage and those to follow. Part of the time is spent posting my own examination and speculation of the Tour, as well as arguing with others about their own damn-fool examination and speculation.

On the weekend, I ride. Unless I’m not. Lately, storms and various other interruptions have been messing up some of that. Rain I can handle, but Florida in July is the lightning capital of the world, and I’m not about to risk creating my own unintentionally-electric Dura Ace group. As it is, I’ve been building up a bit of strength in my recently-repaired left knee. I’m standing up on the pedals, now, which is a relief, and I’m starting to feel a bit stronger. Last weekend’s 50 on Sunday was pretty good…well, 35/50ths of it was EXCELLENT, before the heat and lack of water started getting to me. I stopped twice for iced tea, which is something the Tour organizers really should consider for the boys. It saved my life, and I’m sure that it would add an air of comfort and hospitality to the otherwise-brutal 23-day event.

I was told that my red-stitched black bibs are uber-thin the other day. It appears that my butt crack was NOT in perfect alignment with the center seam in the back, which was compelling/attractive/distracting to the ladies behind me. While I have not been told to cease wearing said shorts, I have been kindly asked to be certain that all seams and cracks are in alignment. In retaliation, I am now determined to purchase a pair of nice, white pro bibs and to wet them thoroughly (with a water bottle…pervs) before social or club rides. Cervelo TdF or Lampre UCI kit might do well, but I suspect the Assos high-end stuff might be thinner and thus more transparent.

Ben Farver over at Argonaut has asked to borrow my bike for the Rocky Mountain Handmade show. He’s the builder, so I can’t say “no” to him; he’s just a great guy! That said, I’ve had the bike for just a couple of weeks, and letting it out of my sight–even for a short ten days–is unpleasant at best. Thus, I am asking for suggestions for swag or other bike-builder detrius that might make this deal all-even. Pro photos of the bike, maybe a shirt, something cool from the show…you get the idea. Drop me a line with your suggestions!

Argonaut Side
My Argonaut in SRAM Red

The title of this post is credited to my friend, Patrick. Patrick and his lovely (and faster) wife, Lanae, have just returned from a trip to the scenic Northwest, where they discussed the creation and acquisition of a certain titanium bicycle with a pig on it. On their return, Patrick was disgusted to see this blog languishing in disorder and lack-of-updates, and thus informed me that it was “sad.” He is, unfortunately, correct. Thus, an update has now been made. Thanks for shaming me yet again in a cycling-related activity.