Register Now for the 100 Miles of Nowhere

04.23.2009 | 11:39 am

A Note from Fatty: Winners of the “Meet BSNYC” contest are being notified by email today. Once I’ve got their OK, I will announce their names.

Finally. Spring is here. The weather is great, and I just can’t think of anything I’d rather do than get outside and ride my bike.

Except, that is, ride my rollers in the dead of night for 100 miles.

So, uh, why don’t you join me?

What The 100 Miles of Nowhere Is

The basic idea of the 100 Miles of Nowhere is that no matter where you are, on May 23 you’re going to either ride your rollers, trainer, or a very small outside course for 100 miles. Or if that sounds like too much, you can do 50 miles. Or 25.

But, ideally, 100.

And since you will be the only one racing in your age group, gender, category, and region, you are clearly going to win your age/gender/region/category group.

Yeah, that’s right. I’m guaranteeing you are going to win. How often do you get that kind of assurance in a race?

Oh sure, as you ride, you will certainly have qualms, and may find yourself saying things like, “I can’t believe I’m riding my trainer for 100 miles,” or “I can’t believe I’m paying to ride my trainer for 100 miles,” but then you’ll remind yourself, “But I’m doing this for a really, really good cause.”

And that cause, of course, is helping Team Fatty raise money to fight cancer. Out of the $75 registration you pay, $50 will go straight to the Lance Armstrong Foundation (the other $25 pays for boxing and shipping and stuff like that — trust me, nobody’s making a profit here).  

And best of all, if you wear a GPS during your ride, you’ll get to upload an awesome ride track. One that looks like this:


Your friends will be so jealous.

What You Get

As I believe I have mentioned before, one of my most practical superpowers is the ability to ask people to give me stuff without feeling ashamed.

And for the 100 Miles of Nowhere, I have used this power on your behalf.

Here’s the valuable schwag you’re going to get when you do this race.


An event t-shirt, designed and produced by Twin Six . Twin Six designs all my jerseys and t-shirts, and they’ve never ever ever disappointed. This will be one shirt that definitely does not become a rag used to wipe the grease off your chain. Not for several years, anyway. Value: $22.00


A tube of DZ-Nuts. Yes, really. If you use chamois cream, it’s high time you try DZ-Nuts. If you have never tried chamois cream, I cannot think of a more perfect time to begin. As I have noted in my review, this is good stuff. Value: $22.00


A Banjo Brothers Seat Bag: These bags open wide and perfectly hold exactly what you need for a roadside tube change: tube, tire levers, mini tool, CO2 can and adapter. And a couple of rolled-up bills in case you need to buy a Slurpie. Every road bike should have one of these. Value: $10.99


TWO Garmin / Slipstream Camelbak Podium Bottles: I recently got one of these bottles for myself…and I liked it so much that I ordered a six-pack of them. They’re the only bottle I use now. Somehow, CamelBak has made the bike water bottle better. A lot better. And the Garmin / Slipstream graphics look great. And how cool is Team Garmin / Slipstream for helping raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation? Value: $20.00


CarboRocket Single-Serve packs: How weird is it that one of my very best friends invented what I consider to be the very best sports drink in existence? You’ll get four single-serve packs (perfect for making one bottle’s-worth), letting you try each of the flavors: Kiwi-Lime, Raspberry Lemonade, and maybe some exciting new surprise flavors Brad’s cooking up in his kitchen right now. And, I daresay this is a good opportunity for you to try them out. Value: $6.00


Clif Shot Bloks: The fact that I will, if left to my own devices, eat Shot Bloks recreationally, tells you everything you need to know about them. They taste like jam, and look terrifying when microwaved. Value: $2.00


ProBar : These things taste far too delicious to be organic, and yet they are. And they’re far too delicious, I might add, to be an energy bar. And yet they are. Value: $3.29

All told, your 100 Miles of Nowhere schwag box has right around $84.29 worth of product, and it’s all stuff you’ll actually use, as opposed to the cheesy bag, limp shirt, lame hat, and coupons you won’t use that you get with a lot of your races.

But That’s Not All

Your entry into the 100 Miles of Nowhere also qualifies you for some frankly awesome random “door prizes.”

You might win, for example, the use of — for up to five nights — a beautiful condo in Moab, UT:


Maximum of 5 nights, no pets, use it or lose it — but seriously, if you’ve ever considered coming to Moab for an MTB vacation, this could turn your trip into a seriously styling vacation.

Or you might win a $75 gift certificate good toward a wide variety of gear at UltraRob’s Cycling and Outdoor Gear store.

And finally, you could win one of two subscriptions to Cyclocross Magazine. Nice!

Register Today

Registration for the 100 Miles of Nowhere is open now, and will run for one week — ’til 5:00PM CDT April 30. After that, it’s closed, so don’t wait ’til it’s too late!

Men: Click here to register. Women, click here to register. Then choose your shirt size and you’re all set. Twin Six will send you your swag box in plenty of time for the event.

Then, on May 23rd (or on a day close to the 23rd that’s more convenient to you), do the ride. Make sure you take pictures and send them in; I’ll post ‘em here.

Got questions? Comments? Ideas? Post them in the comments section and I’ll answer the best I can.

This is going to be fun. In a very weird way.


How to Name a Bike Trail

04.22.2009 | 1:14 pm

A Note from Fatty: Today’s your very last day to enter the cleverly-named “Fight Cancer, meet Bike Snob NYC” contest, wherein you can fly to New York, meet my Evil Twin, Bike Snob NYC, and find out for yourself that he is actually eight feet tall, is covered with a thick coat of bright red fur (he dyes it; his natural fur color is light brown), has a goiter the size of a tangerine, and has a peculiarly-shaped bone structure protruding from his forehead that whistles shrilly when he reaches 18mph.

No wonder he values his privacy so highly.

Read details here, or go donate here. I’ll announce the winners tomorrow.

Another Note from Fatty: If you’ve been considering joining Team Fatty but just couldn’t deal with the $50 sign-up fee, today’s your lucky day, because there’s a one-day-only sale on registration going on right this very second. Simply click the city you want to sign up with – Austin, Seattle, San Jose, or Philly – and then from that page click the Join our Team link. Use “SPIRIT09″ as your discount code when you register and you’ll get $15 off the registration fee. Join us today and help us help the Lance Armstrong Foundation fight cancer.

And here’s something to consider: I am currently working out the details to start a weekly prize giveaway — but it will be strictly for members of Team Fatty. More info on this soon, but let’s just say that I’m going to do what I can to give Team Fatty members extra-good reasons to work hard on raising money to fight cancer.

Oh, and if you’ve got something so cool you think people would compete for a chance to win it, email me.

Yet Another Note from Fatty: Philly Jen — the Team Fatty Co-Captain for Philadelphia — has begun a FattyCast for Team Fatty. It’s a terrific way to learn about and get tips on raising money for Team Fatty members…or for people who are interested in joining Team Fatty. You’ll find the first installment of the FattyCast here. As a bonus, unlike most podcasts, Jen has an honest-to-goodness great voice

Still Yet Another Note from Fatty: I have created a new forum for Team Fatty members for the different cities to chat, and for the team co-captains to start talking about any special Team Fatty activities we’ll be having before the event. I highly recommend checking it out. It should be a good place for you to meet your teammates. You’ll find the forum at That seems like a reasonable URL, doesn’t it?

1-day sale on joining the livestrong challenge. which makes it a good day to join team fatty

OK, Seriously, This is The Last Note from Fatty: I currently don’t have a team Co-Captain for San Jose and I need one. If you live in that area, have experience with leading teams, and are willing to take on the bulk of the Team Fatty San Jose-leading responsibilities, email me. Thanks!

How to Name a Bike Trail

I’ve mentioned before how much I love Draper City for building and maintaining Corner Canyon. Well, I’ve got another reason now. Jamie P, one of the guys I sometimes ride with, started going to the City Council meetings and then proposed a new trail in Corner Canyon: a trail built to be a twisty, cross-country, bikes-only, narrow, downhill-specific slice of heaven.

And Draper totally went for it.

Everyone I know who rides is so excited that many of us plan to actually help build it. Yes, I know that seems crazy, but it’s true.

So yesterday, when Jamie sent out an email asking for ideas on what to name this trail, the response was as overwhelming as it was tragic. As it turns out, very few of us know the rules for properly naming a trail. And I do not exempt myself from this sad group, for my own suggestions (including “B#,” a clever in-joke programmers will find mildly amusing and nobody else will get at all) were perhaps among the worst.

So I thought. And I considered. And I came up with what I can now confidently assert are the definitive and authoritative “Do’s and Don’ts” of bike trail naming.

These rules are as follows:

Do Not…

  • Use more than 3 syllables. This is not because I am lazy. This is because I am practical. If a bike trail has more than three syllables, I will not be able to curse it properly when I am climbing, because I will have to take a breath in the middle of the trail’s name. For example, if the trail is named “Revolution Revelations” (eight syllables), I will pass out if I try to say it during a climb. Also, it takes me about thirty seconds to type, and about nine minutes to text. Hence, I would simply call the trail “RR,” which wouldn’t be too bad of a name, except for the fact that it sounds like the way Mork laughed.
  • Call it something you cannot picture yourself saying to your grandma, or spouse, children, or ecclesiastical authorities. I just cannot imagine myself telling Susan, “Hey, I’m going to head out and ride the Dirty Mistress. I’ll see you in a couple hours.”
  • Use trendy slang. The thing about trendy slang is that it either falls out of use, or it becomes cliche. And also, it sounds painful when middle-aged white guys say anything ending with “izzle.”
  • Name it with presumption, so that it is unlikely to meet expectations. If you name your trail “The Terminator” but winds up being more like The Sarah Connor Chronicles, well, that’s a bit of a letdown, isn’t it?
  • Make it sound horrible, dangerous and no fun. Trails should not be named “Scab Picker,” nor should they be called “The Disemboweler” or “Twenty Foot Drop Into a Pit with Sharp Iron Spikes at the Bottom.” This is a different kind of presumption — that your trail is unrideable — and it’s even less cool than the first kind. The exception to this rule, of course, is if the trail actually does have a twenty foot drop into a pit with sharp iron spikes at the bottom.
  • Use puns. As you know, puns are the lowest form of humor. So don’t name your trail “ReCYCLER.” Or “CYCLone” or “Spin Cycle.” If you do, I will be forced to call the trail by an alternate name. You know how people say, “No pun intended?” What other form of humor is usually followed by a disclaimer / apology?
  • Use alliteration. Alliteration is lucky it’s a rhetorical device, not a form of humor. Because if it were a form of humor, it might be even lower than puns. So don’t name your trail “Seriously Sick Singletrack.” Remember: alliteration is an absolutely abhorrent avenue for assigning an appellation.
  • End the name of the trail with “Trail.” Of course it’s a trail.
  • Name the trail after current events, a song, a band, or other transitory pop cultural puffery. What if someone had named a trail after the BeeGees? Think about that before you go naming your trail after a Metallica song. Or whatever it is kids listen to these days.
  • Name it after drugs. Or sex. Yes, yes, this trail is as addictive as crack. And it’s better than sex. Got it. But that gag is used. As in, used up.


  • Be non-comedically obscure. What does “Goldbar Rim” mean? I have no idea. How about “Amasa Back?” Nope, still no idea. And “Kokopelli Trail?” Well, that violates the “Don’t end the name of the trail with ‘Trail’” rule, but I still don’t know what it means. And yet, these are all great trails with names I remember. This highlights a key point in trail naming: A trail’s awesomeness stems from the trail itself. The name will take on awesomeness in time, so don’t get in its way with kitsch.
  • Be descriptive. Slickrock Trail is the best known trail in the world, and it has a simple, descriptive name. Timpooneke Trail is just named after the mountain it’s on. The Ridge Trail network is a network of trails on a common mountain ridge. I can see, right now, that my “Don’t end your trail name with ‘Trail’” rule is not holding up very well.
  • Be thematically random. If you think about naming all of your trails before you begin naming any of them, then you can choose a theme. For example, I recommend “Famous magicians and psychics” as a trail theme. Houdini, Krespin, Hennings, and Copperfield all make terrific trail names. The names of the characters on Gilligan’s Isle is another fine trail-naming theme that has so far been sadly neglected.
  • Use a first name, but one that was popular with people 60 – 70 years ago. This is by far the best way to name trails. And, fortunately, there’s a handly list already made. Dolores, for example, is a terrific trail name. As is Wanda. In fact, I would love nothing better than to say, “I’m going riding on a trail called Wanda.” Marvin, Floyd, Ethel, and Lester: all terrific trail names. In fact, if I were to run for office, I would use as my platform a promise that all trails would be named after popular names of the ’30s.

Oh, who am I kidding? This is all just sour grapes. In truth, I’m just disappointed that nobody suggested naming this new trail “Fatty.”

And Now, A Word from Chuck

04.21.2009 | 7:35 am

A Note from Fatty: There are Friends of Fatty (FoF), and then there are Best Friends of Fatty Forever (BFoFF). Scot Nicol, aka Chuck Ibis, is definitely a BFoFF. Last year he donated an Ibis Silk SL to help us raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. A couple months ago he made it possible for us to shave Bob Roll’s head, raising yet more money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. And now he’s working to raise money for another worthy cause. I’ll let him explain.

Scot Nicol here, you might remember me from our little raffle from last June when many of you participated in a raffle of one of our Ibis SilkSL road bikes in Susan’s name to benefit the LAF. The result of your kindness and generosity was that the Foundation had $37,505 more in their coffers. Thank you all for that, it was a success beyond our wildest imagination.

I’m giving Fatty a day off today and will use my rickety soapbox to toot the horn of another very different and very worthy group of people out here who are fighting the good fight.

epic_lunch.jpgMost of us like trails, whether we’re mountain bike riders, hikers, equestrians or Australian Shepards. Somebody has to build these and maintain these trails, and more often than not that task is done by a local, state or federal government agency. There are national organizations out there that do it, the one we cyclists know best is IMBA, the International Mountain Bike Association. There are also smaller, more regional organizations too that are doing good, innovative work. The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship is one of these.

Since 2003, the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship has been quietly building and maintaining a network of trails in and around a little mountain town called Downieville. It’s a place that’s close to my heart, as I spent a good chunk of every summer since 1959 there on the Yuba River, recreating on my grandpa’s mining claim. There were trails then, but no mountain bikes. Growing up on a river in the Sierra was absolute paradise for a kid from the ‘burbs.

The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS) has a unique approach to reaching their goals. They rely on a huge amount of volunteerism, and have honed their trailbuilding efforts to a science. Their efforts also include a tremendous amount of community outreach, including a youth program that involves the local schools. The longer-term goals of this group also include the development of trail systems around the thriving metropolises of Graeagle, Clio, Portola, Calpine, Loyalton, and Sierraville.

Actually, these are all destination resort areas whose economic livelihood will be greatly enhanced by the new trail networks. I’ve even heard mention of a hut system sometime in the future. You can read more about what they’re about here.

These guys also happen to put on what I consider to be the funnest mountain bike event on the calendar right now. It’s called the Downieville Classic, where the legendary Downieville Downhill was born (45 minutes of descending at warp speed for the winner, more for me). It all takes place in the tiny burg of Downieville, and events include a pixie cross (small bikes racing in a tight circuit) and the insanely popular river jump contest. They set up a huge ramp and jump bikes into the river, I got to be a judge last year, one of my proudest accomplishments ever. To give you an indication of its populariy, the race sold out in minutes this year (as it does every year).

Now, if you’ve persevered to this point, I have a little treat for you. This is the most incredible 5 minutes of bicycle related video I’ve seen today, and maybe forever. It starts out a bit slow, but is well worth five minutes of your day. Once you’re done, continue reading. This is totally unrelated to anything in this post or any that Fatty has ever done most likely. I simply thought it was incredible enough to share.

The SBTS is not shy about their lofty goals, and have spoken to me about taking their brand of advocacy and community involvement on the road, showing other communities how they do it.

One of my goals is to help them do it. And that’s where this post is headed.


3434357895_2167d7054a.jpgWe at Ibis have donated a pimpy fresh Ibis Mojo, totally decked out with all the latest gear that would be appropriate for a ride around Downieville. We are raffling this bike on April 27th, this coming Monday. Raffle tickets, like before, are five dollah. 100% of the proceeds go to building trails. The SBTS estimates that one dollar of donation to their non-profit equals about $1500 dollars of normal trail building effort if it was done by a big bureaucracy. And they say they’ve had 22,000 hours of volunteer labor dedicated to their projects since 2003. Those are compelling numbers. Figure a burrito costs 5 bucks, your raffle ticket will buy someone a burrito and they might be able to build 10 feet of trail. Or more if it’s a super carnitas with guac (hopefully you vegans will still ride the trail).

We had our uber racer Brian Lopes design the parts pick of the bike, and we thank all of his kind sponsors like Marzocchi, Shimano, Easton, KS shocks, Kenda, WTB for their generous support.

In short, why don’t you go buy a raffle ticket or twenty? You might win a very cool bike.

PS: if you liked the video above, check out this one of Brian on the very same Mojo (well, not the same Mojo, but another one exactly like it) you see pictured above. That could be you, man. Or at least it could be your bike.

My Blog Is Adorable Today

04.19.2009 | 6:36 pm

After two or three false starts — last week there was a snowstorm that left six inches of snow on my lawn — I’m pretty sure Spring is here now, for real.

And I have promised myself that this is the Spring I get the twins to learn to ride bikes, without the training wheels.

But I am not having an easy time of it.

I think there are a number of factors at work that have made the whole “teaching the girls to ride” thing difficult. One part of it is that, well, they’re girls. And while I make a conscious effort not to, I know for sure that I am babying them more than I did the boys.

More than the “girls” thing (or more accurately, my chauvinist treatment of them because they’re girls), though, is the “twins” thing. Specifically:

  • They’ve got each others’ back. If I am stern or even mildly firm with them, they both cry. If one’s tired, they’re both tired. If one falls, they’re both in tears.
  • I don’t magically have twice as much time. One of the secrets parents of twins have is that once you get past age four or so, the net amount of work twins take is hardly more than a singleton. Sure, you have to spend a little more time doing some things, but those are balanced out by how much less time you have to spend dealing with the “I’m bored” syndrome. But learning to ride a bike is a strictly 1-to-1 activity. And, as it turns out, I currently have other fish to fry. So they’re each getting less help from me than I’d like to give.

All these reasons, though, are trivial. I have a theory that the real reason the twins are reluctant to ride their bikes in a cul-de-sac or parking lot is because I’ve already introduced them to the hard stuff.

Saturday, for example, I took them each for a 90-minute ride, pulling them on the tag-a-long bike up Spring and down Rodeo at Lambert park. Now, I’ve always been curious what the twins’ expressions are like when we’re downhilling, so this time I mounted the helmetcam so it faces them.

Here’s Katie’s ride, in what may in fact be the most adorable mountain biking video ever made.

Once you’d done this, how much appeal would riding unsteadily around in a parking lot have for you?

Lessons Learned

I learned several things while taking the girls on this ride.

  1. Batteries are important. I’ve now definitively figured out why my helmetcam shut off during the downhill on Grove last week. The batteries wore out. I found this because I did not replace these batteries, and within moments of taking Carrie out to Lambert Park, the helmetcam had –yet again — shut down. So I got no usable video of Carrie, making this a “Katie” video instead of a “Twins” video. I think I can safely say that someday several years from now Carrie will use this as prima facie evidence that I am a terrible father and that I treated her unfairly. Unless, of course, I make another video exclusively about Carrie. Which I guarantee I will. Anyway, from now on I will always make sure the helmetcam’s batteries are fresh before heading out on a ride.
  2. The twins need helmets that fit better. I could’ve sworn that the helmet on Katie’s head fit snugly and properly. Judging by the way it’s about to slip off the side of her head in this video, I was wrong.
  3. Hauling 80 extra pounds for a 3-hour ride is a good workout. The girls each weigh sixty pounds (they have not yet reached the age where they don’t want their weight public knowledge). The tagalong bike weighs around twenty. The round trip from home up to the top of Rodeo and back home takes around ninety minutes — and the video shows exactly how much of a pedaling contribution the twins make (hint: about enough to make it very difficult for me to balance the bike). So, that’s about three hours of hard riding I got in on Saturday.
  4. Multitasking rules. While I was taking the twins out on this ride, I was accomplishing all of the following:

    • Making Susan Happy by keeping the twins out of her hair so she could get some work done on her jewelry and her novel.
    • Being Dad of the Month by taking my kids out on an adventure on a beautiful Spring day.
    • Being Dad of the Year by recording this adventure on videotape.
    • Getting Fodder for a Blog Entry which you are reading right now.
    • Getting an Intense Workout: Hill intervals while pulling up an extra 80 pounds really work your legs
    • Learning to Use My Helmetcam: I’d hesitate to say I’m competent yet, but I took another step in that direction.

Feel Free to Skip the Rest of This Post

The rest of today’s post is really just me talking — pretty much humourlessly — about what I’ve learned about using the VIO-POV.1 recently, just in case anyone else is experimenting with helmetcams and is interested in what I’m learning.

I’m fully prepared to admit the likelihood that there is nobody interested in my very novice efforts toward capturing good video while mountain biking. So, feel free to skip down to the comments section and tell me how adorable Katie is in that video.

Still with me? I didn’t think so.

My biggest lesson — apart from using fresh batteries — learned this weekend in using a helmetcam is to keep the mount as simple as possible. See, when I bought the VIO-POV.1 I went a little nuts, buying all kinds of mounts, thinking this would facilitate interesting shots.

I started out this weekend with this monstrosity fastened to my seatpost:


The knob you see there tightens a vice-style clamp to the seatpost. Then there are several other joints and knobs, letting you pivot the mount on all three planes. Then there’s a gooseneck, to which is mounted the lens clamp.

In theory, it’s awesome. In practice, the constant jarring and vibrating of the trail kept loosening all those knobs and relaxing the gooseneck, so the lens wouldn’t stay where I positioned it for more than a minute or so. Even if I would have had fresh batteries during my ride with Carrie, she would have kept drifting out of the shot.

So, when I got back home and put fresh batteries in the helmetcam, I also switched to a different mount:


One of the rubber half-circles sits on top of the tagalong toptube, the other end holds the lipstick lens. And then velcro holds the whole thing down tight.

And as you can see in the video, the lens stays nicely in place the entire time — for about 90 minutes of video, which I mercifully trimmed down (currently using iFilm ‘09, though I hope to make the jump to Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects once I am less clueless about how they work) to under four minutes for you.

Of course, that mount is only useful for making the lens point in a direction parallel to the bar it’s mounted to. I have a similar mount, good for pointing the lens in a direction perpendicular to the bar it’s mounted to:


This is the mount I use when I want the camera on my handlebars or seatpost.

Putting the Helmet in Helmetcam

I have to admit, for a while I was puzzled about how I should mount the camera to my helmet. See, my helmet — a Giro Ionos — is so vented, there’s no easy place to mount anything.

The solution I came up with — and tested for the first time in Lambert Park just over a week ago — was simple: get a new helmet. I bought an inexpensive BMX / skater helmet with very few vents, and plenty of surface area for a helmetcam mount.

Reviewing that video, it seemed like the camera’s vantage point was too high, which made sense since I mounted the camera right on the top of the helmet.

And then I noticed that the adhesive holding the mount was starting to come off. That’s not a good thing when you’ve got the business end of a $600 camera on top of your head.

I solved both things at the same time:


Just in case you can’t tell, I took some sandpaper and roughed up the side of the helmet and the mount, then used plastic epoxy to bond them together pretty much permanently. I could have cleaned up the extra epoxy around the mount, but I like the sloppy look. Seriously, I do.

I really like the idea of having this permanent mount on a helmet, and it’s made me think: I should perma-bond my HID light mount to the top of this helmet (or maybe to the other side, to keep things balanced?) in a similar way, so the light doesn’t slip around all the time. And then I’d be all set for night ride filming. Which I think could look very cool indeed.

My current plan is to wear this helmet with the camera setup for RAWROD 2009 this weekend, though I worry about riding with this helmet all day; even riding for a couple hours with a heavy, non-vented helmet gets a little uncomfortable. Wearing this all day with the sun beating down on me in the desert might be a little more than I want to put up with.

Zipties Are Your Friend

Zipties make it so easy to keep the cable routed out of the way. And then they can be snipped off at the end of the ride. I am going through zipties at a prodigious rate right now. Good thing they’re practically free.

Excited for More

I’m almost embarrassed to put up the videos I’ve done so far (but am doing it anyways, of course). I realize that I’m not even to “beginner” level yet. And my editing skills are worse than weak. But I’m having so much fun capturing these videos and showing Susan where I’ve been riding all these years — she’s finally getting more than just an exaggerated description of the trail; she’s getting a reasonable visual facsimile of the ride itself.

And I’ve been thinking of all the other trails I want to film: Jacob’s Ladder, Tibble Fork, Leadville 100, Mount Nebo, Frank, Gooseberry Mesa, Goldbar Rim. And on and on and on.

Is it too late for me to join the AV club?

Exclusive: AFLD Alleges New Astana Improprieties; Astana Unlikely at Tour de France

04.16.2009 | 9:02 am

PARIS (Fat Cyclist Fake News Service) – In a startling turn of events today, the French Anti-doping Agency (AFLD) announced it is proceeding with disciplinary action toward several key members of Team Astana, essentially eliminating any chance the Kazakhstan-based cycling team has of competing in the 2009 Tour de France.

The extraordinary sequence of events began approximately one month ago, when an agent of AFLD asked Lance Armstrong for blood, urine, and hair samples. According to Armstrong, the American cycling star — having just returned from a long training ride — then evidently requested and obtained permission to take a shower while the AFLD representative’s credentials were verified.

Today, however, AFLD president Pierre Bordry revealed that there is much more to the story.

“Yes, Armstrong did ask to take a shower,” stated Bordry, “But he did not follow up by saying, ‘Mother may I?’”

Continued the AFLD official, “If Armstrong had correctly followed the protocol clearly stated in the Mother May I (MMI) handbook, he would not be in the trouble he is in. Because we totally would not have said, ‘Yes you may.’”

Concluded Bordry, “Armstrong purports to be a professional cyclist. If he doesn’t know how [MMI] is played, that’s his own problem and he’ll have to deal with the consequences. As you recall, Mr. Armstrong himself recently said, ‘It’s their event, their country, and their rules, and we have to play by those.’ Well, Mr. Armstrong, here in France we play MMI. And until you hear ‘Yes you may,’ you most certainly may not.”

Contador Out Too

In a press conference today, the AFLD announced that Armstrong is not the only Astana team member in hot water. Said a spokesman for the AFLD, “Today, in a routine out-of-competition collection, one of our representatives requested that Astana team member Alberto Contador fill up a sample bottle with urine.”

Continued the spokesman, “At this point, Contador immediately complied. However, the AFLD had not preceded the request by saying ‘Simon says.’”

“The rules are clear and unequivocal,” concluded the spokesman. “You don’t do anything until you hear ‘Simon says.’ Contador is banned from all professional cycling for two years, effective immediately.”

“It’s true. He totally got me,” said the Tour de France winner and former hopeful. “I had nailed each of the instructions leading up to this — roll up my sleeves, stand on one foot, shave my left armpit — but he got me on that last one.”

Said Contador ruefully, “Man, sometimes these French drug controls can be really tricky.”

More Problems for Astana

Armstrong and Contador — arguably two of the strongest podium contenders for the 2009 Tour de France — are not the only Astana members facing charges from the AFLD. According to the press release sent out today, other violations from the team include:

  • Levi Leipheimer: Refusing to provide a hair sample. “In my defense,” said Leipheimer, “I didn’t actually refuse to provide a hair sample. I simply don’t have any hair. What were my options?”
  • Andreas Kloden: Failure to acknowledge that Jerry Lewis is a comedic genius. Kloden defended himself, saying, “I have watched The Nutty Professor, the Patsy, and The Family Jewels. I tried to find the humor in them. I really did. But it’s all just mugging and variations on one silly voice. How is that funny?” “If you don’t get it, just say so,” retorted the AFLD spokesman.
  • Chris Horner: Eating Hot Pockets. “Those things are an abomination and we will not permit anyone who eats such things in our country,” said Bordry.

AFLD Not Done

Once in contention for an unprecedented podium sweep at the Tour de France, Astana is now unlikely to participate in the race at all. But the AFLD housecleaning is far from over. “Unfortunately,” said Bordry, “there are many more non-French teams who have exhibited suspect behavior.”

Concluded Bordry, “We will not rest until all these nefarious cyclists have been removed from contention, making way for a truly clean team — such as Ag2r-La Mondiale, Agritubel, Bouygues Télécom, Cofidis, Crédit Agricole, or Française des Jeux — to take its rightful place on the podium on the Champs-Élysées.”

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