• People Talk and My Ear Bleeds


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    Wednesday, August 30, 2006

    Vuelta a Espania

    Have you ever riden a 10 to 12% grade on a bicycle at a speed over 10 mph? If you haven't, let me give you a clue about how it feels. Imagine someone has a meat tenderizer hammer and pounds your thighs until they look like hamburger. The riders in the Vuelta a Espania (Tour of Spain, one of the three Grand Tours) experienced this today. Ouch. Imagine your thighs hurting like that and then someone passes you. What do you have to do? Attack, of course. So, that means putting the pain aside and putting all of your effort and sanity to catch up to and pass your opponent. I respect those guys for the effort and skill they have gained in their cycling careers.

    On to the doping stuff again. It looks like the doping news has settled down a little. For all of you Tyler Hamilton supporters, he will end his ban for blood doping in the month of September. The current president of the UCI (http://www.uci.ch) or International Cyclists Union is trying to get Hamilton banned for life due to the current doping mess. His name some how appeared in documents of the charged doping doctor. Who knows?

    Well, I'm upgrading my bike. I am using new components from the SRAM corporation. These parts move into a market dominated by two makers: Shimano and Campy. SRAM gives me light weight parts at a fraction of the price of either. However, the parts I am buying with SRAM pasted all over them are for my road bike, not my time trial bike. For instance, the gear/brake levers built by SRAM (model Rival) weigh in at 335 g. Shimano's Dura Ace, their top of the line shifters, weigh a staggering 420g. For a climber, those numbers are huge. Next, look at the brakes, SRAM Rival (SRAM's number 2 model, their Dura Ace model is called FORCE) brakes weigh 290 g while DA brakes weigh 305 g. When you add up the components, RIVAL only lacks in their crankset which is 30g heavier than DA's crank. Give SRAM a few more years, and they will break up the Shimano/Campy domination.

    Till next time! Keep on riding! and Studying!

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