Tag Archives: Tour

Tour de Jank, Stage 9* – Burma Road Hill Repeats

The Ride

The * for today represents me kind of giving up. I’m still owing a cobbled stage for stage 3, and I missed yesterday – bad day at work, and just kind of unmotivated when I got home.

Today, though, I’m energized again – good talk with my supervisor, better talk with his boss, and some clarification of what the heck I’m supposed to be doing that’s largely in line with what I want to be doing. So a setback’s not always a setback, often it’s just a re-direction.

The ride today – Finally got out of the office and onto the roads for a lunchtime set of hill repeats. North on Burma Road, four times up the (very meager) hill at the north end of Burma, each time in an smaller cog starting from granny gear, and back down Burma at about 85% of sustainable effort. Legs felt great, I finished all 4 hill repeats, and I had a negative split on the ride back with an average speed over 20. It’s relatively flat on Burma, and I’m pretty sure there’s no elevation change, but I’ll check that when I pull the ride off of my Garmin tonight.

The Race

“Bastille Day, when 800 rebels stormed a guard of 100, lost 98 men, and freed just 7 prisoners, inspires French tactics to this day.” – @cyclocosm

It’s that time of year, again, where we look outside our borders to the second greatest event in sport, the Tour de France. 21~ish days of French countryside, podium girls, and skinny guys in tights with a tolerance for pain beyond anything an offensive lineman could ever comprehend.

This year’s race is already a classic – Lance Armstrong’s packed at least 8 years of bad luck into his last tour, we’ve seen one of the favorites from Luxembourg taken out by cobblestone roads in northern France that pre-date Napoleon, and the God of Thunder duke it out with a Manx man for the title of fastest man alive.

As the race enters its middle week, it’s just come out of the Alps and will be streaking across the middle of France towards the Pyrenees, where, in the 100th anniversary of the race’s first visit to these mountains, a Spaniard riding for a Kazakh team will try to stay ahead of a small guy from a small country.

And 10 days from now, the race will end with champagne on the Champs d’Elysees.

Next year? I think I’m buying a projector and stringing up a sheet between the trees in my backyard – watch the whole thing with a cold beer sitting in the backyard.

Tour de Jank, Stage 7 – Newport

The Ride

There’s a couple of rides around here that are completely epic, and of which I don’t think I’ll ever get tired. Today’s stage was one of them – the loop around southwest Aquidneck Island, specifically Ocean Drive. Sure, there’s some traffic downtown, but in general, it’s awesome.

Headed out with Tracy, who’s in crazy good shape. Part of the highlight for me is riding through downtown Newport – there’s enough traffic that it’s going slower than you can go on a bike, and it’s a trip to dodge traffic. Once you’re past downtown, Ocean Drive weaves along the Atlantic, and takes you into Bellview Drive and the legendary mansions.

The last bit of the ride is out Burma Road – undeveloped property that the Navy’s been hoarding for a while.

This is why I love cycling.

The Race

First day in the mountains, and, as expected, not much shakeup.

Tour de Jank 2010, Stage 5 – Lame to Lamer

The Ride –

I must confess, sports fans, I almost blew it on Thursday. Good, good stuff at work, but I let it get in the way of lunchtime hill repeats.

Then, since number one son is headed off for the first time to sleepaway camp (Way up north in Connecticut, nearby April Anne) this weekend, and since I’m keeping the nation slightly safer for democracy this weekend, we headed down to Costello’s for some fried clammy goodness and family bonding before he goes away for weeks at a time. I’m including pictures taken from our seats that I took while we ate. Did I mention it’s BYOB?

Oh, right – the ride… Yeah, so today’s ride was exceptionally lame – I pulled out the trainer once we got home and got the kids in bed. Did about 45 minutes in front of the TeeVee listening to Bob Roll and Craig Gummer yammering on. But – I got ‘er dun.

The Race

I love the variety in cycling. The beauty of the mountains counterpointed by the terrible suffering going on in the faces of the climbers. The sea of colors as the peleton crosses fields in bloom.

But what hooked me was watching bunch sprints. During Armstrong’s first couple of tours, Mario Cipollini duked it out with Eric Zabel, Tom Steels, Stuart O’Grady. Absolutely nothing like watching 40 guys charging down a straight at 35 or 40 miles per hour, Paul Sherwin and Phil Liggett shouting from the television, horns and fans clapping. Takes you straight back to the first time you rode your bike with a friend in the neighborhood – who’s fastest to the next driveway?

Today lived up to that – huge bunch sprint, with the “Manx Missile”, Mark Cavendish from the Isle of Man, running away from everyone.