Rapha Rising. Strava. Racing. Vincenzo Nibali's Bio-Passport. Hipsters. TYC vs TSA
These are the things rattling about this morning. Having partaken and completed another Rapha challenge, I find myself in a weird psychological juxtaposition of contentment (for completion) and guilt (for not riding on a weekend day). The body, in Pavlovian response to recent habit, fires off messages of need to move! In response, the brain flips the bird, knowing the muscles need some rest. So here I sit. Conflicted but content. In an effort to reconcile, how about I write about riding stuff?
Topics du Jour:
1. Le Tour - Vincenzo Nibali. Doper?
The existence of two Frenchies on the podium evidences the sport's move to cleanliness. Given the incredible legal and societal pressures on French riders to comply, combined with the fact that French riders were absolutely non-existent at the front in the doping era, it would seem everyone from second place and back suffered without any chemical solace. But Nibali rode a different race. No one even put him in discomfort, much less distress. Nibali's utter domination, combined with his worship of Pantani, drives doubt in the cleanliness of his blood. So my cynical self went over to Science of Sport for some answers.
Having read the article, inconclusive data allows one to shape the facts to fit any desired conclusion. Doper? Sure, check out those pVAMs! Clean? Definitely! look how much slower he climbed than previous doped times! What do you think? I hope he is clean. But would not be surprised (AT ALL) if he gets popped. What do you think?
2. Rapha Rising/Strava
As a Strava user and (historical) purchaser of Rapha gear, the challenges issued by the clothes maker and self-appointed purveyor of pelo-style via Strava have become a semi-annual rite in my riding schedule. Winter's Festive 500 and Summer's Rapha Rising have marked the two biggest weeks of riding on my calendar for the last three years running. An interesting phenomenon about these challenges is how they are perceived by participants. Some subset of the challenged "race" to complete it (the "Firsties"). Others load as much as possible into the allotted time frame (the "Mosties"), while yet others look at the numbers as a compliance exercise, targeting the minimum hurdle as the only goal (the "Smart Ones"). Guess which category fits ME. I don't really like Rapha anymore, by the way. They jumped the Shark with TeamSky, and are now just another high volume gear shop. Plus, all of the Rapha bibs that I own are falling apart. (Note that on the road, the Shark actually jumped TeamSky.....)
3. Hipsters on Fixies, Wearing Beards and Sneers, Quaffing ONLY IPA beers
Having interacted only briefly with this odd population, I admit my understanding of their ethos is guesswork, not based on any meaningful accumulation of data. But this is America, where opinions are free and protected, regardless of veracity. Hipsters, why are you so pissed? And why so smug? Someday you will realize that flannel and neckbeards do not make great cycling gear. And a pilsner tastes pretty good from time to time. And that judging someone because they aren't dressed like you is pretty much the most narrow minded and shallow approach to relationships currently in play. You are no better than a Vineyard-Vines wearing prepster. Deal with that.
4. Team Yacht Club vs. Team Super Awesome
This confuses ME. I only know a few folks on both sides of the feud, and have no idea how it started. Probably something that Rey said. Can't we all just get along? I didn't think so.