Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Spy vs Spy

From Bike Radar
Landis 'wore a wire to gather doping evidence'
By Barry Ryan
Floyd Landis has been the centre of much debate this year

Floyd Landis has been the centre of much debate this year (Pensinger/Getty Images)

Disgraced cyclist Floyd Landis wore a wire and spy camera to gather evidence about former Rock Racing owner Michael Ball, according to a report in the New York Daily News.

Landis filmed images of what appeared to be doping products, including human growth hormone, in the refrigerator of Ball’s apartment in Marina Del Rey, California during a meeting in the spring, a source told the newspaper.

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) special agent Jeff Novitzky is said to have then used the information gathered by Landis to obtain a search warrant for Ball's apartment. "The quantity and the quality of the video surveillance was pivotal in the decision to serve a search warrant and essentially raid Ball's apartment to seize the drugs," the New York Daily News’ source explained.

Ball has not been publicly charged with any offence. His Rock Racing team disbanded ahead of the 2010 season when they failed to receive a licence, while his Rock and Republic clothing company filed for bankruptcy in April. Landis had been set to ride for Rock Racing in 2010.

Novitzky is currently leading an investigation into doping in American cycling, which is believed to be centred on the US Postal Service team. In May, Landis – who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France crown after a positive test for testosterone – outlined a series of alleged doping practices that took place during his time on the team.

In making his confession, he alleged that former team-mate Lance Armstrong was involved in systematic doping during his spectacular Tour de France career. Those claims have since prompted a federal investigation into the superstar American.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Best of SC - Posted in Dec - 2007 "People Review"

Riding down here is very inspiring - I've met a group calling themselves "Try Athletes" and I guess that's what we're all chasing - trying to be athletes - but these guys got it dicked! As none of them seem to be athletes, they seem to be really try-ing hard - and good for them! They are snappy dressers and none of them seem to have an ounce of self confidence.

As time has past, they have developed a plethora of items to assist this.
Product tests for this entry surround how they choose to cut thru the thick ocean air - cleverly - I might add.

First off - the bars - who know where they get these things? But man are they trick! As you'll see, these guys have all kinds of tricks.

As a road rider, I take my lead from the likes of the Pro field. I thought these guys were the best in the world with the best and fastest gear- I am wrong! However, the bars these Try folks use confuse me... Why don't the pro guys add the garbage shoot to their bars? For years watching the pro peloton throw all that trash on the side of the road has really bugged me - the Try folks have solved that problem - 2 points for their concern for the environment! I like how they throw caution to the "literal" wind!

Next is the clever way to ID one's self - With a Try-Sharpie (available thu $39.95) you simply write your number right on your arm - and then you can remain identifiable for days after the event!! Super Clever!

Next up is how they have a special place for their stuff - no, not like the first picture here - but things like their keys, their gu's and their charm bracelets - clever again - once I rode up beside a girl who had what they call a "Bento Box" and said "Hey, whats in your box?" which was met with a bit of a harsh look? I know I was on a road bike.....

I don't know what the fuck this is? Looks like it would burn....
(click to enlarge)

Marketing is a big thing with them - and from what I can see it works! That's a frickin hot that baby Elephant!!!

But in the end their bikes are so light they can carry them home.

Learning lots - wish you were here!
Soon to come, butt watter and little wheels-

Tour of Ca - we get French footage.... Again, Ahem...

From the sidelines of ToC last yr:

FAN: "What do you with the Tour?"

STAFF: "I work on the TV coverage."


FAN: You know, your coverage is very bad.


FAN: Yes. You know what you need to make it good?

STAFF: What?

[he leans in as if he's about to give the staffer the tip of the millennium]

FAN: You need the crew that does the coverage of the Tour de France.

STAFF: You ARE right! I will let my boss know...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

From Cycling News

US Postal backers could be under investigation

WSJ says FDA are to question whether investors knew about alleged doping practices

US Federal investigators looking into allegations of doping on the former US Postal Service team are said to be looking into whether the owners of Tailwind Sports, which owned the team, were aware of any doping.

The Wall Street Journal looked at the background of Tailwind and its participants. The moving force was Thomas Weisel, a former amateur cycling champion and investment banker. He set up Montgomery Sports in 1989, which put together the original USPS team in 1995. In 1999, he set up Tailwind with five other investors for about 2.5 million dollars.

The company never made a profit, however, losing between $200,000 and a million dollars a year, the WSJ said.

The doping allegations started almost immediately. At the 1999 Tour de France, Lance Armstrong tested positive for a corticosteroid, which he claimed was from a cream used for a saddle sore. The next year, French tv reporters found suspicious items in trash dumped by the team. The UCI cleared Armstrong and neither case resulted in any action.

However, it was enough to make sponsor US Postal Service nervous. Gail Sonnenberg, who was then senior vice president of sales, said that some USPS board members wanted to drop their sponsorship, but that Tailwind managers assured them there was no doping on the team, and that the French media was out to get Armstrong.

Weisel's attorney said his client would not respond to the WSJ story saying the questions they asked contained “statements or assertions” that are “factually inaccurate.”


The Tailwind owners were equally involved in squelching criticism from outside sources. When Greg Lemond publicly criticised Armstrong's involvement with trainer Dr. Michele Ferrari, he soon heard from Weisel. Lemond said he found Weisel's comments to be a threat. Days later, another Tailwind partner, Terry Lee, asked him to stop criticising Armstrong.


The Tailwind partners were also involved in the Floyd Fairness Fund, set up to finance Floyd Landis' defence after he tested positive for testosterone during the Tour de France 2006.

Landis claimed that he spent about $2 million dollars defending himself, with about 70 per cent of the funding coming from the Tailwind backers, including Weisel, John Bucksbaum, David Williams and Richard Cashin Jr.

James Cox Kennedy, of Cox Enterprises, was not part of Tailwind, but sponsored a fundraiser for the FFF and made a donation. He was one of many who thought Landis was telling the truth about not doping. “I believed him when he said he was innocent and then was highly disappointed when he later said he lied and cheated.”

Landis claimed that in the summer of 2008, he was doubtful of his chances of appealing his suspension. He discussed a plan with Williams, of Williams Trading LLC, to post a confessional video on YouTube, but the plan was dropped.

Williams later paid $200,000 to sponsor Landis' new team when he returned to racing in 2009. He was also an enthusiastic supporter of the Lance Armstrong's Foundation, pledging a million dollars to it. However, a dispute over the use of the foundation logo and discussion of a return of his donations, which did not happen, soured the relationship.

When Landis first considered his public confession, he discussed it with Williams, who encouraged him. Landis later cited Williams' support as one of his main grounds for going public.

Landis didn't stop there, but also filed a suit in US federal court under the False Claims Act. Weisel, Tailwind and Armstrong are among those named in the suit, which alleges that the US government through the US Postal Service was defrauded. If the charges are upheld, Landis could be entitled to a portion of any monetary damages awarded.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Driver believed to have been under the influence of marijuana

Eight cyclists have been killed in an accident in Calabria in southern Italy after a speeding car crashed into a group of riders on Sunday morning. The incident took place near Lamezia Terme and the driver has been arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter.

La Repubblica has named the driver of the car as Chafik Elketani, a 21-year-old of Moroccan origin. He is reported to have been under the influence of marijuana at the time of the crash. He was also driving without a licence, as he was serving a six-month suspension for dangerous driving.

It is understood that Elketani emerged without serious injury from the crash. His eight-year-old nephew, who was a passenger in the car, was also not seriously injured.

The eight riders were part of an amateur group linked to the “Atlas” gym in Lamezia Terme. The group had been in activity for five years.

The deceased riders were Fortunato Bernardi, Rosario Perri (55), Francesco Stranges (51), Vinicio Pottin (47), Giovanni Cannizzaro (58), Pasquale De Luca (35) and Domenico Palazzo.

Silvio Rocca of the White Cross was one of the first people to reach the scene of the accident. “We were alerted to an accident in which only one cyclist was involved, according to the first information we had,” Rocca said. “When we reached the scene, however, we saw that we were talking about a massacre. They were all people we knew personally which made it even more painful.”

The mayor of Lamezia Terme, Gianni Speranza, has declared a state of mourning in the town, which Italian Cycling Federation president Renato Di Rocco has also expressed his condolences to the families and friends of the deceased cyclists.

Follow Cyclingnews on Twitter for the very latest coverage of events taking place in the cycling world -

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Craig's List - Sent in from Reader Karl!!

A few things from the bike shop.
Craig's List

Whoo-hoo Seattle, the sun is out! Let's discuss a few things before you fumble with swapping the unused ski rack for the unused bike rack on the Subaru.

So yes, you've noticed the sun is out, and hey!- maybe it would be cool to to some bike riding. Let's keep in mind that the sun came out of all 600,000 of us, so for the most part, you're not the only one who noticed. Please remember that when you walk into my shop on a bright, sunny Saturday morning. It will save you from looking like a complete twat that huffs "Why are there so many people here?"

Are we all on the same page now about it being sunny outside? Have we all figured out that we're not the only clever people that feel sunny days are good for bike riding? Great. I want to kiss all of you on your forehead for sharing this moment with me. Put your vitamin D starved fingers in mine, and we'll move on together to some pointers that will make life easier.


- I don't know what size of bike you need. The only thing that I can tell over the phone is that you sound fat. I don't care how tall you are. I don't care how long your inseam is. Don't complain to me that you don't want to come ALL THE WAY down to the bike shop to get fitted for a bike. I have two hundred bikes in my inventory. I will find one that fits you. Whether you come from the north or the south, my shop is downhill. Pretend you're going to smell a fart, ball up, and roll your fat ass down here.

- Don't get high and call me. Write it down, call me later. When I have four phone lines ringing, and a herdlet
of people waiting for help, I can't deal with you sitting there "uuuuhhh"-ing and "uuummm"-ing while your brain tries to put together some cheeto-xbox-fixie conundrum. We didn't get disconnected, I left you on hold to figure your shit out.

-I really do need to see your bike to know what is wrong with it. You've already figured out that when you car makes a noise, the mechanic needs to see it. When your TV goes blank, a technician needs to see it. I can tell you, if there is one thing I've learned from you fucking squirrels, it's that "doesn't shift right" means your bike could need a slight cable adjustment, or you might just need to stop backing into it with the Subaru. Bring it in, I'll let you know for sure.

- No, I don't know how much a good bike costs. For some, spending $500 dollars is a kingly sum. For others, $500 won't buy you one good wheel. You really need to have an idea of what you want, because every one of you raccoons "doesn't want to spend too much".


- Just because you think is should exist, doesn't mean that it does. I know that to you, a 14 inch quill stem makes perfect sense, but what makes more sense is buying a bike that fits you, not trying to make your mountain bike that was too small for you to begin with into a comfort bike.

- If some twat on some message board somewhere says that you can use the lockring from your bottom bracket as a lockring for a fixie conversion doesn't mean that A: you can, or B: you should. Please listen to me on this stuff, I really do have your best interests at heart.

- I love that you have the enthusiasm to build yourself a recumbent in the off season. That does not mean however, that I share your enthusiasm; ergo I won't do the "final tweaks" for you. You figure out why that Sram shifter and that Shimano rear derailleur don't work together. While we're at it, you recumbent people scare me a little. Don't bring that lumbering fucking thing anywhere near me.


-If you shitheads had any money, you wouldn't NEED a vintage Poo-zhow to get laid. Go have an ironic mustache growing contest in front of American Apparel, so that I can continue selling $300 bikes to fatties, which is what keeps the lights on.

- Being made in the 80's may make something cool, but that doesn't automatically make something good. The reason that no one has ridden that "vintage" Murray is because it's shit. It was shit in the 80's, a trend it carried proudly through the 90's, and rallied with into the '00's. What I mean to say is, no, I can't make it work better. It's still shit, even with more air in the tires.


Good for you! Biking is awesome. It's easy, it's fun, it's good for you. I want you to bike, I really do. To that end, I am here to help you.

-Your co-worker that's "really into biking" knows fuck all. Stop asking for his advice. He could care less about you having the right bike. He wants to validate his bike purchase(s) through you. He also wants to sleep with you, and wear matching bike shorts with you.

- You're not a triathlete. You're not. If you were, you wouldn't be here, and we both know it.

- You're not a racer. If you were, I'd know you already, and you wouldn't be here, and we both know it.

- So you want a bike that you can ride to work, goes really fast, is good for that triathlon you're doing this summer (snicker), is good on trails and mud, and costs less than $300. Yeah. Listen, I want a car that can go 200 miles an hour, tow a boat, has room for five adults, is easy to parallel park but can carry plywood, gets 60mpg, and only costs $3,000. I also want a unicorn to blow me. What are we even talking about here? Oh yeah. Listen, bikes can be fast, light, cheap and comfortable. Pick two, and we're all good.


Your kids are amazing. Sure are. No one else has kids as smart, able, funny or as good looking as you. Nope. Never see THAT around here.

- I have no idea how long you kid will be able to use this bike. As it seems to me, your precious is a little retarded, and can't even use the damn thing now. More likely, your budding genius is going to leave the bike in the driveway where you will Subaru the bike to death LONG before the nose picker outgrows the bike.

- Stop being so jumpy. I am not a molester. You people REALLY watch too much TV. When I hold the back of the bike while your kid is on it, it's not because I get a thrill from *almost* having my hand on kid butt, it's because kids are unpredictable, and generally take off whenever possible, usually not in the direction you think they might go. Listen, if I were going to do anything bad to your kids, I'd feed them to sharks, because sharks are FUCKING AWESOME.

I hope this helps, and have fun this summer riding your kick-ass bike!

* Location: Seattle
* it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Thursday, December 2, 2010

SKLZ-Pista Palace team

Rahsaan Bahati joins ambitious SKLZ-Pista Palace team for 2011

* By
* Updated: Dec 1st 2010 12:40 PM EST

Former U.S. pro criterium champion Rahsaan Bahati, who had a difficult 2010 season when his eponymous team fell apart mid-season, is joining an ambitious Southern California amateur team.

The renamed SKLZ p/b Pista Palace team is built on the former Pista Palace bike shop squad. The team will focus on National Racing Calendar wins and the USA Crit Series title.

Team director Justin Beope calls the squad a “rag-tag fugitive fleet of America’s best criterium racers.”
2011 SKLZ p/b Pista Palace roster

Anthony Aker
Rahsaan Bahati
Joseph Binder
Lucas Binder
Ben Bradshaw
Stevie Cullinan
Chris DeMarchi
James Gunn-Wilkenson
Michael Johnson
Shane Lawlor
Adam Livingston
Eric Marcotte
Jamie Paolinetti
Corey Steinbrecher
Mike Telega
Shaun VanGassen

2010 Texas Tough champion Eric Marcotte returns to the team. He’ll join Bahati, masters national criterium champions Chris DeMarchi and Jamie Paolinetti and a handful of younger riders.

“Our goal is simple, we want NRC wins,” said Beope. “We have the two fastest sprinters in the country and the NRC race schedule is dominated by criteriums and so I think (winning the NRC team title) is very possible. Has an amateur team ever won an NRC title? How cool would that be?”

“I truly believe that the American public is disgusted and disenfranchised with what is happening in pro cycling. All these tour champions and pros being busted for doping and just the general lack of investment and interest in amateur elite cycling is such a downer. This team is about a group of guys from every different walk of life, age, and profession coming together to prove to the “normal dude” they represent that cycling is about passion and commitment and not contracts and drugs. And I think it will be interesting to see who will be considered the David and the Goliath when we show up at NRC criteriums.”