Thursday, July 8, 2010


A Velocast Jersey, in a Mirror, Yesterday.

A reminder that the Velocast's daily tour podcasts can be found at their site.

Also, those of you who are already fans, and ordered your Velocast jersey (made by Shutt Velo Rapide) should be receiving yours soon. Mine is pictured above - I'm hoping to do a proper review soon (as the jersey will be similar to Shutt's others, I imagine). The potted version is that the quality is hugely impressive, and worryingly making me wonder why all my jerseys aren't this nice. Who'd have thought that two gentlemen in Peebles, and a company based in Ilkley would be responsible for giving me a taste for the finer things in life?

A slightly better pic (arms length self portraits being challenging at the best of times).

ITV Have started their daily podcast again for the tour, which is here.

ITV's show is presented by Matt Rendell, and is really good so far - Chris Boardman provides the insider knowledge, there are good interviews, and Jill Douglas, as something of a newcomer to the tour, gives some useful insight (and her enthusiasm for the race is quite contagious).

Cyclingnews' podcasts are here.

I've found Cyclingnews' tour show to be pretty good as well - the team they have commenting on the race is excellent, and the interviews have been good so far too.

Bizarrely both ITV and Cyclingnews seem to have gone out of their way to make the shows difficult to find from their tour homepages, it seems to me.

Cosmo at Cyclocosm has channelled a meme I was hitherto completely unaware of in a cycling direction.

Cosmo also has some good commentary on the events of Stage 2, here. Although Cervelo were unhappy about the neutralisation (and rightly so, as their GC contender had managed to get to the bottom of the Stockeau safely, with 3 minutes or so in hand) he wonders whether their deference to the decision has paid dividends in the following stage. As ever, thought provoking and worth reading.

The Team Chef's ongoing project has been updated with pre-tour scores, including an adjustment for Alejandro Valverde following his suspension. The update is here, and explanations of the top 50 scoring method can be found here (link is to part 1 of the scroing system, click through for the second part).

Garmin Transitions are having a bad tour so far, sadly - Christian Vande Velde has retired, and Tyler Farrar is carrying a couple of injuries (including a fractured wrist, imagine riding pavé with that). There's a good interview with Tyler on their site here about carrying his injuries, and what happenned on the Stockeau in stage 2. Technical types can also look at the data the team's collected for their riders (including Julian Dean's second place) on the site.

This site's "Cycling Shorts" is a bit like Stuffe, only good. Lots of interesting links and commentary on there, from Sky refusing to "embed" Paul Kimmage, to the revelation that Lance is now interviewed by laptop, something so laughable and demeaning to journalists that I genuinely wonder if it's an attempt to see how far they'll go to get a quote from him.

Of this (not the Clif bars, I just like Team Garmin, and Musettes) and these.

Urban Velo reports that in Bartonville (where?) any group of 10 or more cyclists must travelling together in the city must apply for a permit to do so 45 days in advance. At a cost of $50. No word on whether the popular "traffic jam" and "rush hour" events favoured by motorists in a lot of cities are exempt or not.

One thought occurring to me is that these tiny places I've never heard of may be trying to put themselves on the map by passing weird bylaws, on the basis that the only thing worse than being talked about...

COMICS has this look at page flow in comics from Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O'Malley.

I can't say it better than this;
"Let us celebrate the wonderful cheesiness and eye-popping kid-allowance-bait futurism of these 1960’s and 70’s magazine and plastic model kit box illustrations by Japanese illustrator Shigeru Komatsuzaki."
I completely agree - the article (at Lines and Colors) is here.

I'm not sure what it is about this week, but so far I've had two punishment passes on the bike, by people who felt the need to mouth stuff at me through their closed passenger windows. For the uninitiated, or those living in civilised countries, a punishment pass is a deliberately close overtake by a motorist.

Genius number one did so as I passed cars parked in the bike lane (his car being a silver, 02 reg BMW him being fat, 50 ish and bald) so he could make a left turn about 1 second ahead.

Genius number two was a youngish fellow (mid 20s, dark haired) in an old red hatchback (possibly a Polo), who passed so he could reach a set of stop lights 2 seconds before me (to add to the irony, I take a filter lane on green at these lights, which may make his manoeuvre even more pointless).

Both incidents trouble me, because, whilst I'm fairly used to indifference, inattention and impatience from some drivers, active malice is fairly rare. The thought that someone is willing to put me in hospital (or worse) because they don't know their Highway Code (I do, and I ride according to it), and are stupid enough to want to risk a crash to prove a point is a worry too.

I'm hoping these two drivers represent a statistical "blip" of some sort, especially as coping with the rain, and headwinds of recent days is quite challenge enough.

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