Friday, October 8, 2010

Weekend Whorriors and a Nobel Prize

It's Friday, which means the Walks of Shame from last nights Thirsty Thursday parties have begun to stumble across the apartment complexes in yesterdays much-too-short-skirt and Ugg boots. An experienced observer can tell you which of these Late Night Whorriors are veterans of the march; they have a larger bag with necessities, and they walk with their faces scanning the sidewalk. The noobs still try to hold their heads high and fein having self-respect/pride. But that is just my news for the morning, believe or not, other things of note have happened....

Peruvian author Mario Llosa won the Nobel Prize in literature. A member of the South American literary boom of the 1960's and 70's, the author is famous for in-depth works on the sociopolitical structure of his native country and those equally mired conflict, injustice and strife. Llosa is a contemporary of the famous Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who was the last South American author to win the award in 1992. Both writers have been noted political advocates and critics, and Llosa even ran for President of Peru in 1990 as an advocate of privitization. Yours truly is a big fan of this literary style and "magical realism", which finds itself featured in many pieces from the culture.

As the recent focus in media on teen suicides grows, four teens in Ohio took their own lives. All four were from the same school. You can read a full article here. This is inexcusable. From one school, regardless of ethnic differences, spending or training shortcomings or any other excuse, there must be at least a handful of competent adults who can recognize this behavior and defend those who are the victims. There is no reason to tolerate this, from a faculty or student standpoint. Students must also police themselves; the reason this behavior continues is that bystanders allow bullies to debase and demean their classmates without consequences.

Sports Reference of the Day

"Much respect, dog" to Taylor Martinez of my very own University of Nebraska. Last night, the most famous Taylor not named "Swift" ran for a school record 241 yards in a decidedly one-sided blow out over Kansas State, 48-13. To grab firmly ahold of a record in a storied school like Nebraska, who has seen the likes of Eric Crouch, Tommie Frazier, Scott Frost and Turner Gill, this is no record to be sneezed at. In fact, his 80-yard run last night was oddly similar to Eric Crouch's 99 yard jaunt against Missouri in 2001, the year he went on to win the Heisman and take Nebraska the the National Championship game. If there is Denard Robinson Heisman talk, Taylor Martinez should be in the same discussion.

Roll on, people, roll on....

Thursday, October 7, 2010

UofM vs. MSU, Contador and Pusan

Good morning all! Today marks the 60th anniversary of a too-often-forgotten date in history. In 1950, the U.S. crossed the 38th parallel in Korea, storming into the northern portion of the peninsula after hanging by a thread for months near Pusan, South Korea. This attack pushed the war to the very borders of China, provoking a Chinese soldiers to join the North Koreans and push back the U.S. and International forces. The war would rage for two more years, costing many men, women and children their lives and solving nothing. The treaty reached that halted armed conflict was signed, but today, the border between North and South Korea is one of the most armed and tense in the world. U.S soldiers and other peace-keeping troops have been stationed there for the past 60 years. Please take a moment to remember this conflict...and promise never to allow these wars to happen again.

I would also like to make a reading recommendation. Folks, I like to read. It's good for you, it makes you smarter and it sure beats the hell out of watching bad TV (and yes, I mean GLEE with this reference). So, go to your local library and check out To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. Her prose is amazing, poignant and mimicks reality and our own experience in the world that it is easy to connect to. Go be literate!

In cycling news, The New York Times reports that testing in the Cologne, Germany lab which found Alberto Contador's "tainted beef" positive has also claimed that tests reveal an elevated level of plasticizers, which indicate IV use. The IV bags used for blood transfusions do not immediately incriminate the 3-time TDF champ, but boy oh boy it sure don't look good. Contador has not responded to these allegations directly, a very different reaction than his protest of innocence to the clenbuterol charges earlier this month. Cycling fans can see the Contador issue as one of two scenarios; it is either a terrible misunderstanding and the fault of WADA(World Anti-Doping Agency) for being too meticulous, or we can see this asas the system is working! The sport is cleaning up in ways that other drug beleagured sports like baseball and football can only dream (or pretend) of because unlike those sports, cheaters in cycling are being caught! The five (count'em) positive tests from the Vuelta show that the war on doping is being won.

Finally, THE FLYING BOHUNK would like to invite you (yes you, right there) to pick the winner of the U of M vs MSU game this Saturday. With both teams undefeated and both rising in the Top 25, this has the potential to be one of THE GREATEST GAMES IN THE HISTORY OF SPORT, and I only claim that once or twice a month. It's Denard Robinson and his dreadlocks (which are his closest ally, let's admit it, he has no supporting talent) against Eric "Cody Tackled Me in High School" Gordon and a very strong MSU defense. Oh, and their offense it pretty good too. This game could easily see 80 points scored between them. If I was a betting man, and I'm not because I'm poor, I would take the OVER and put $100 on it. Leave a comment with your pick and the score, and the winner gets to point to themselves and say "I win, take that, ex-girlfriend." Thanks folks, enjoy the day!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Changing Gears

It's nearly the end of the season, and it is important to understand that there is little fitness left to be gained, no small secret that is going to drastically alter your climbing ability in the next few days, or even a miracle gel or drink that is going to give you a boost (though I hear Spanish meat has been known to work wonders!). The Broheem and I have but one last Hurrah!, or as I like to say, Pip Pip (Harvard style) until its that wonderful-dreadful offseason.

While I am excited to take a little time away from training, I am already bored just thinking about the trainer or the gym. I can try to survive the cold for a short while, perhaps until November, but there will assuredly come a time where I will be going very fast and but literally going nowhere.

With that thought making my skin crawl, I am planning to run a few 5k races and try to see how many miles I can fit in a month. Running is something I used to really enjoy and can get excited about. Not very excited, but it may be just enough to get me out of bed.

So, I will soldier on. Tomorrow is an off-day before 7 hours of classes in the afternoon, but this weekend (and Monday) will involve some pedaling. My plan is to alternate between two and two and a half hour rides over the weekend, ending up with roughly 170 miles over four days. That is called "overloading" folks, and it has really worked for me this season. The rest of the week I just ride short and hard and taper off drastically. I will probably not go over 120 miles in the next four days combined! If you are on form this late in the season, overloading can be a great strategy for you going into your last race or too.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cold Weather Riding

I am aboout to embark on a ride in 39 degree weather with a frigid wind out of the north. A quick tip to anyone who may not enjoy riding in this type of weather is to wear TOO MUCH clothing; being a bit too warm once you are moving can have its benefits, but being too cold only makes the ride less enjoyable and not worth the effort. Try to include aspects of clothing that serve two distinct purposes. First, make sure your jacket, tights and gloves block the wind, or at least claim to. Experimenting with different coats you may already have is a good way to see what works best, rather than going out to buy new. Second, make sure you have something warm and fluffy to trap your body heat in. Try not to have cotton directly on your skin, as it will become damp and make your body colder. Put the fluffy stuff over a base layer, such as UnderArmour or a cycling equivalent.

Happy riding, don't give in to the weather yet!

Monday, October 4, 2010

A quick review....

Saturday saw Jenks Boneyard travel to Harbor Springs for a late season race called the Crybaby Classic. It took place at the wonderful Knub's Knob Ski Resort, circling and repeatedly climbing the main hill itself. Here is what went down....

I spent most of the time before the race setting up a Livestrong Day for Livestrong Day, where we sold two (count'em) wrist bands and gave the rest away to the kids. It was chilly, the sort of cold you are somewhat shocked at as the wind cuts through your all-too-thin jacket and makes your feet numb before you've even stroked a pedal. I warmed up quickly with Wes before rolling to the starting line. At the gun, we took off quickly but I held a spot towards the back on the gradual slope; this sort of race brings people to sprint the first hill, and they are usually so blown up from riding so hard at the gun you can pass them on the downhill....

Which is exactly what happened. I rolled past ten or twelve riders and found myself at the head of a determined little train heading toward the leader, who had a gap of fifteen or so seconds. On the next hill, Wes and I dropped the train with a thud and passed the leader, Warren, who was a bit sick. Wes passed me shortly after and folks, that's the way it was.

This was a race which was all about finding your own rhythm, and for most riders, that is the most important aspect of the sport. You can only do what you can do. It makes a lot more than a little sense. Eventually, even on your best day, you can only go as fast as you possibly can, and in cycling, there is nothing more meaningful than truly finding what you are capable of doing.

Two weeks until Peak2Peak, I better get rolling! Until next time, roll on, people, roll on...

Holy Burrito Batman!

Hello All,

While the Bohunk was incapable of updating out of pure and sheer unabashed laziness, Wes won a race and finished third in another, while I finished second and fifth, accordingly but not respectfully....

I will eloborate shortly!