blue squirrel

after a self-imposed 20 year absence from cycling, the sport i love, i am back and dedicated to holding my own in the superfast 40+ catagory. this blog will tell the journey, the highs and the lows, the team [team becher+] and it's cast of characters, our sponsors, supporters, and other local riders that make it happen... [anonymous comments are lame, cowboy up and put a name or start a blog]

Sunday, February 18, 2007

GOOD DAY [costa mesa BAR series crit]

[looking good out front, huh, were is everybody? i believe they are just about to enter there pain cave to look for us]

[noah looking strong in the group, prior to crash testing his helmet]

[noah hanging tough at the front]

today was a good day of racing, albiet it an early one and one with less than a favorable outcome for one team becher+ rider. the morning started at 4:45am, jump out of bed, ok well maybe not jumped out of bed but i did get out of it with out rolling out. put the quattro espresso in me along with a bagel w/ honey, some muesli, and dreams of another espresso. we loaded up the team car and three of us headed to the OC, for the costa mesa BAR series crit. the 40+ start time was 7:45am and i felt surprising good for only 6 not so good hours of sleep. i got ready and noah and i put in a good warm up prior to the race. it was a capacity crowd of way to fast for older guys group, that lined up for the start. i started fast and of course, as usual found myself in a 2 man break away right of the bat. we sped around the 1 mile [?] course out front for 3 or so laps before the crowd of cattle mashers caught up to us. it was great to get up to speed and warmed up, being off the front affords the opportunity for me to prime the engines and take a few carefree laps without all the hubbub of crowded cornering and jockeying for position. although you start to feel like a french protour team at the TDF, begging for some prime time TV coverage for their sponsors, knowing that this is their only chance of getting any air time in the lead. that said, i was smiling from ear to ear with the knowledge that i was dictating the pace and putting some deep into their pain cave far too early for their liking. as we all know, squirrels like to hunt for nuts alone and breaks stay away from time to time. the fun has only just begun.

on a team side note: i believe it was about lap 6 or so, as the gruppo charges the line for some $1.50 preemie, i hear this loud bang and the red sea parted before me to see noah and another rider down for the count right in front of me. the look of bewilderment and disgust on noah's face was priceless as he sat there in traffic, wondering what the hell just happened. it was a sad state of affairs as it was starting to look like our new crit king [ok, so jerry 'go fast' has not yet competed this year and timothy 'action' jackson is out for a while with a life bug] in the making, was feeling good and probably would have benefited from a stellar lead out from yours truly. all to no avail as the other riders tire blew, and as a consequence, took noah with him to the pavement at 30+.

on a sponsor / equipment note: much props to ritchey for the incredibly quite swiss made, american hand built 50mm carbon [alloy brake surface] clinchers i was sporting today. all though quite is a little understated, they are the quietest, coasting wheels i have never heard. on top of the eerily quietness, the wheels are as slick as butter and as smooth as silk. great through the corners and fast out of them. the new ritchey WCS stem and alloy [it is crit racing after all] WCS bars worked like a charm. loved them and the stem's lower than average, 73 degree angle down was a perfect fit and not so easy to find. thanks ritchey, the whole team appreciates the support. i must mention the great handling [as i just hold on and she does the rest] of my limited addition, crit secret weapon. as in my easton scandium masi frame with easton carbon seat stays, was stiff and proud today. also a quick props goes out to tennyson at imartin [and team rider], for the extra care and precision on the wheel setup and tender loving care he [and all of the service crew] gave my black beauty.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


remember all of those lame doping stories, almost all false yet negitive in their delivery and impact. wow, what a difference a day in the south of france of all places can make. the day burst with the passion that has been so lacking in the on going cycling media / racing bitterness. i can just feel the energy in the tinkoff camp right now after their first pro win as a team. this is cycling at its best my bitter french friends. the ASO, UCI and wada should all stop their in-fighting and soak up some of oleg tinkov and the boys passion for the pure joy of racing. just look at oleg's elation at their first win, this is why we love this sport. especially the way his boy mikhail ignatiev braved a solo attack with 11km to go and held off the sleepish group and won a sprinters stage, solo no less. bravo team tinkoff on your first win, may it be one of many.

[my kind of racing, aggression, attacking, all or nothing, this is pure bike racing at its finest]

[a little honer'isk wild west action]

[after seeing this picture and wiping the tears from my eyes, i knew i had to stop work and post something]

[its a team sport, and hamilton is a good leader]

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


i have been saying this for a while now, while out on rides, hybrids are dangerous. they may help some feel good about driving a car, but they are not friendly to those of us riding the ultimate hybrid, bikes. they creep up on you like a ninga and scare the crap out of you when you do the shoulder glance. they have made their way onto my los angeles top 5 vehicles that hate cyclists.

1] [tie] cadillac escalade [always black] and BMW 7 series [always black too, the younger the driver the worse they are]
2] van conversions [usually filled with 7 family members and have no hub caps, a sure sign to stay away]
3] any SUV [especially if driving by a phone toting, no hands on the wheel, big diamond wearing, person of the female persuasion, although men driving them have the same lack of regard for human life and are usually rage'r]
4] any hybrid, especially toyota priuses [the LA car of choice for those that think they care about the environment, but really got it for the 'cool factor] .
5] any car without hub caps.

[news story to back up my hybrid claims, yes it is from, and shut up behatch]

Group Says Hybrid Cars Are Too Quiet, Threaten Pedestrian Safety
Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hybrid cars have been hailed as the answer to a litany of problems in the U.S., from global warming to gas prices. But now one group is labeling them as something else: a threat. According to the National Federation of the Blind, hybrid cars, which run on an energy efficient mix of gasoline and electricity, are problematic for children, elderly pedestrians and the blind. Why? Hybrids are much quieter than their conventional counterparts, so silent that the NFB says that they can be difficult to hear coming down the street. The group conducted tests to try to prove their point. "We had [a hybrid] drive by in different situations, to see whether or not people could hear it and use the sound of the car to safely cross the street, and they could not. The car was just silent," NFB spokesman John Pare told AFP. In order to make the cars more audible and safer, the NFB would like to see manufacturers of the vehicles emit a signal or sound that would alert pedestrians and others of an oncoming car. "We want to get ahead of this and not have to wait until five blind people end up seriously hurt or dead," Gary Wunder, who is on the NFB's Committee on Automobile and Pedestrian Safety, told the Wall Street Journal. The group says that it has contacted hybrid manufacturers about making the adjustments. One such automaker, Toyota (which makes the popular hybrid the Prius), told AFP that they are looking into ways to improve pedestrian safety, but that the general trend in the auto industry is towards quieter cars and that the silence of the cars has benefits, too. "We are aware of this issue and are studying a way to improve pedestrian safety. It's important that the solution doesn't add to noise pollution but is good for pedestrians," said Toyota spokeswoman Martha Voss. In any case, some groups are taking action to help prevent accidents before they happen. According the Wall Street Journal some guide dogs, which use car noise and other signs to help the blind cross streets safely, are being trained to be more aware of the quiet cars. One guide dog school on the West Coast is even using golf carts to simulate the hum of the hybrid engine.

FOX News' Alexander B. Duncan contributed to this report.

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[go check out jta's latest post on j voigt]

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[ / susan westemeyer]
German anti-doping crusader, Dr. Werner Franke, claimed to have read in the Operacion Puerto documents that Jan Ullrich paid the Spanish Dr. Fuentes €35,000 for illegal doping products, but after losing a court case, he now has admitted to that he "can't read Spanish."

- once again another top named OP rider wins another case, when will this stop? no convictions, no one is found guilty, the riders so far have won all of THEIR cases related to the spanish / french comedy that is operacion puerto. let jan win, oops, ride.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007


here is a non-cycling related video that was too funny to pass up.
especially since i always get grief from the masiguy readers when i post how freaking awesome macs are. or i guess it could be cycling related when you upgrade to the new vista and can't use trainingpeaks or cyclingpeaks or saris poweragent or motionbase or ????.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


GP d'Ouverture La Marseillaise - 1.1, France, February 6, 2007

gotta love the spunky guys at unibet, dig the protest kit.

[ and they won....]

it was also good to see my boy t. hamilton get back in the office and get some work done. now that you are free, kick some pro tour arse this year tyler. it is going to be an exciting year of racing, with so many talented pros relegated to conti-pro teams.

MAC trainin'peaks

rejoice, trainingpeaks will soon have a MAC OS [universal no less] for up loading data from powertaps, ergamo's, and SRMs to their web based services.

Monday, February 05, 2007


- NEW WORD for cycling [doping] monday,
puss 1 |poŏs|
a weak, cowardly, effeminate man, or cycling doper.

- the following is a great quote from felice gimondi [pantani's manager at mercatone uno and winner of the '65 TDF] interview on

"He had talent. On Oropa [in 1999 Giro d'Italia] he did a number. He had mechanical problems, remounted and then recaptured around 50 riders, and at the finish line he was not even convinced he had caught everyone," recalled Gimondi (The 2007 Giro will hold a mountain time trial up Oropa to remember Pantani.) Was it possible without drugs? "Nothing can transform a donkey into a race horse."

"Nothing can transform a donkey into a race horse."
[my thoughts exactly, although i am sure some puss's try]

- some more great comments from another sucker punched operation puerto [best spanish comedy and the french as best supporting cast] pro rider.

Jaksche lashes out

By Susan Westemeyer []

Jörg Jaksche is a bitter man, after suffering the aftereffects of being named in the Operacion Puerto affair. "All of the suspects were guilty and had to be suspended, it was said. And what happened? Not one single rider has been suspended, but 30 pro cyclists lost their jobs.

"Nobody is taking responsibility for this," he said in an interview with the Austrian Radwelt magazine. "We're looking at the ruins of our sport, although not sanctions have been imposed. The image of cycling is equally destroyed as the existence of many riders."

In an effort to prove his innocence, Jaksche has offered to submit a DNA sample. "A few weeks ago I sent a letter to the UCI, in which I told President [Pat] McQuaid that I was prepared to give a DNA sample at any time and under any conditions. Until today, I have not received any answer."

Jaksche blasted the DNA test as useless, however. "Everyone thinks that a DNA test can prove that a cheater is guilty of doping. No way and never," he said. "A DNA test is not a doping control and will never be recognized as such."

"If I had given up three bags of blood by Dr. Fuentes," he continued, "And if they could be identified as mine by a DNA test, that wouldn't be enough for a doping ban. It would only show that I had given the blood. Giving blood alone is not a doping violation."

After the Austrian Professional Continental Team Volksbank confirmed that it was negotiating with Jaksche, Deutschland Tour director Kai Rapp indicated that he would withdraw the team's invitation to his race. This was enough to scare Volksbank off, although Rapp later moderated his view.

"A small team was blackmailed by the Deutschland Tour," is how Jaksche saw it. "It was basically, either you don't take Jaksche or you don't ride the tour." He added, "I was never positive, never in prison, there are no proceedings against me and my license wasn't taken away. But nevertheless, Volksbank was forced to turn away from signing me."

Jaksche also blasted fellow German rider Jens Voigt. "Jens Voigt is to me the biggest hypocrite. He rode together on a team with Ivan Basso and earned hundreds of thousands of euros through him. And when Basso is down, he kicks him. But he's happy enough to keep the money."

He is still optimistic about riding again, if not in this season. "Right now it doesn't look bad, even if I wouldn't want to bet everything on it. I'm talking to a couple of teams, and I'll keep up with them. If it doesn't work out, then I'll take the year off and keep on training, so that I can come back at my full strength in 2008."

Friday, February 02, 2007


WOW, i tuned up and took the race steed out for a warmup ride today, prior to 'boulevard tomorrow. i had forgotten what a dream she is to ride and how much more comfortable she is than the trainer [powercranks rock, but lets face it, a true race bike is my pleasure]. just wanted to say thanks to MASI for getting the team such great bikes to ride. this is of course my personal favorite steed from a few years back, but she is so sweet i can not see trading her in for one the new ones, i am very loyal. ok, time to go pack. don't drool on your keyboard.