Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ernesto Colner?

I know Colnago has branched out into city bikes, but this is rediculous. Spotted in Basel, Switzerland, where one in four bikes is a Cannondale Bad Boy (true). Proving that there is no shame, check out the head tube badge... the famous Colner spade with the world championship stripes. Truly a beautiful bike with a great race heritage.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Oh Yeah

Just found the photos of our encounter with the cop at Lago di Garda that I wrote about here. Thought it was worth posting! This was the moment of clarity... you can see Ivan saying "yeah, it's really me" and the cop saying "ma che cazzo!"

Little man with a badge.

And after.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Wednesday I was able to get my guests to the start and in their respective team cars for their amazing day at the Tour. After the start, I tucked in to the caravan of team busses and followed them (sometimes slowly) up and down and around the hairpins on the way to Bourg d'Oisans. Once there, I jumped in Dario's car and followed Nibali up the Alpe d'Huez. The fans were amazing. We rounded one bend to see a sea of orange-clad Dutch fans. The devil was spotted quite early up the hill as well. Apparently, there were more fans on the Galibier and Croix de Fer.

Unfortunately, Nibali ran out of steam but showed a desire to suffer in order to learn the ropes. He picked up rider after rider almost the whole way up. Dario was great as usual, yelling at the young Sicilian the only way a loud mulleted Venetian ex-pro can. He also passed water to almost every rider we went past... Ryder, Schumi, Bruseghin and the rest.

Afterward, we enjoyed dinner at a great French place, got a quick night's sleep, and headed back down the Alpe for the start of the next stage. A road block until 2:00 meant that we couldn't actually leave Bourg d'Oisan! We eventually got back to Basel at about 7:00... whew! glad that's over. Great experience, but a nice week to cross off! I've now been to the Tour and back FOUR times!

Now if I could just get back on my bike...


This guy's gonna be a great GC rider someday.

On the lower slopes of l'Alpe d'Huez.

A little higher up... then my battery kicked it!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Reallon Ski Station

So after three hours of sleep, I did the ten-hour drive to Réallon Ski Station where LG was staying. The hotel itself is at 2100 meters and has spectacular views to the crags above. The drive itself was (other than long and tiring) spectacular. Twisty roads at super high altitudes with no guard rails! I can see how John-Lee fell off course during the day's stage.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Child of the 80's

While we all 'enjoy' the daily drama that is the Tour de France, I thought a distraction is called for so I'm writing about a guilty pleasure - the 80's... I've recently begun using all this high technology that I've surrounded myself with to relive my adolescence.

On my recent trips back stateside, I picked up seasons 1 and 2 of Miami Vice, the quintessential TV show of my youth. Using Mac the Ripper and MPEG Streamclip I ripped and converted the episodes and watched them on my iPod Touch on the flights. It's much better to enjoy your own selection rather than some in-flight chick flick. Why no iPhone yet? Check back - I have some issues to resolve with that first!

Anyway - aside from that, I've also been tuning in to MV on something called the "Sleuth" channel on Slingbox, a program and device that lets me control a friend's DirecTV in Connecticut from my computer in Switzerland! Let's just say Swiss TV doesn't do much for me other than cycling and the odd english movie or TV series. Slingbox is an ex-pat TV junkie's dream device. I can watch my Buccaneers get beat live on Sundays as well.

Where's this leading? 80's music! MV had some of the best (and worst) music soundtracks of ANY TV show then or now. I'm currently going through all the Jan Hammer and Phil Collins tracks and hitting a strong sense of deja vu. Of the 8000 songs in my library, I would bet that almost half of them are at least 20 years old. Next up - VH1 (where they actually play videos still)!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Versus is running some of the Everything Matters spots in certain markets. I've gotten some fan email, so I know it's out there somewhere. This is a pg site, so I can't translate, but it should be fairly easy to figure out. Pippo...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

5 Days At Altitude With The Superstar

This week was spent in Park City, Utah for a big meeting. I came with Ivan from Milan after a nice pizza near his place on Sunday night.

We arrived and headed right out on the bikes in a group of about 40. Someone almost ate it after flatting on the descent. Struvie stopped for him - not sure who or what happened, I turned around to give a hand while the group (and Ivan) went ahead only to struggle for 3.5 hours trying to read the "map".

The next 3 days consisted of short 40km rides with Ivan out into the countryside with very little climbing (lucky for me since the altitude made me feel like crap). Ivan would do 100km in the morning and 40km in the afternoon with me, or 40km in the morning with me and then again with a group in the afternoon. Try as we did, we couldn't get him on a mountain bike, which probably wasn't the worst idea since a fall onto a rock could spell disaster.

We had about 150 guests and another 100 of us, for a nice big group who were very enthusiastic to see Ivan and spend some time on the bike with him. He's a good sport and patient in waiting for us slower guys. Good trip, can't wait to get home.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Dachshund Guitar Hero

Had to keep awake for the 11-hour drive home last night. We encountered a nice long traffic jam so I decided to play what I call 'Dachshund Guitar Hero'.

Rockin' out to the Pixies.

Much like the popular video game, once you level up to the top level, you get to Yngwie Malmsteen (one of my favorites, who I missed in concert at the Black Forest thanks to this race that's going on in France). This is I Am A Viking from the Marching Out cd.

One drawback to this game is that the guitar sometimes gets fed up with it all...

Legal Note: Tucker was not harmed in the playing of Dachshund Guitar Hero. He rather enjoys it except during the high part of the solo in Night Ranger's Don't Tell Me You Love Me.

Lago di Garda

My work has recently spiked the kilometers I've traveled. Not ridden, but traveled. Basel-Milan-Basel-Lago di Garda-Basel-Brittany-Basel-MIlan-Utah-Basel... in the span of ten days!

Last week we had a big meeting at Lago di Garda and my main responsibility for the event was to bring a certain Ivan B. and have him join us for a large road ride. I quickly found him to be very giving of his time and interested and engaged with the company and products – oh yeah, and freakin’ in shape! He's very happy with the bikes and we're beginning to engage him with the product guys... that's really my job (sounds strange that you could do that for a living, no?).

We did the ride... about 50 of us! At one point early on, we had to wait for il presidente, who had flatted or taken a wrong turn, still not sure which. While we were crowded on a street corner, over comes the local federale who was none too pleased with our group. "Who's in charge of this event?" We feigned a lack of speaky-Italiano until it was obvious we did. When he threatened a large fine on us, someone piped up... "don't you know who that is?" He didn't believe us, then finally, a hand was outstretched and the cop's attitude changed quickly and off we went.

We did a nice 500m climb north of Riva (I suffered a bit, but not too embarrassed with my performance). The return trip split the group up and we finally were left with a group of seven, including Ivan, who sat at the back once it became obvious some of us were at the limit. Wet roads and 'glory-dayers' at their limit doesn't spell 'safe ride' to a superstar. Anyway - great ride, quick dinner, got back home at 4:00 am!

"Nice shirt... where you get that, from the hamper?" - Damone


I’m not sure why I am such a fan of the ellipse… I’ve always used them… You should see my emails… they’re even worse! Sometimes, I’ll throw in a dash – but that pales in comparison to my ellipses use… oh well…