Looks like my buddy Joe is up to a new project. If you haven’t read Dog In A Hat yet, get on it. Should be required reading for anyone who follows modern cycling. Visit Joe’s latest blog, 6 Years In a Rain Cape, and maybe ask him a question. His head is full of all kinds of knowledge type stuff. I had to post a comment and disagree about whether or not the Tour has been boring thus far. I want to see Lance and Contador fight it out. It hasn’t happened yet. Never mind the fact that their jobs are to win the race, not entertain us, but I miss the drama. Here’s a question for Joe: while riding the Tour, did Alexi Grewal really refer to Bernard Hinault in the French media as “The Gerbil?” Note to readers: back then Bernard Hinault was Michael Jordan to the French, and his nickname was the Badger. Waiting for your answer.

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Attribution-ShareAlike License by benmckune

A wet June kept many plans at bay for a proper summer moto trip, but our crew finally got one together in mid-July, starting from Park City, Utah, and venturing up into Wyoming and Idaho. I’m always a little scrambled when we do these trips, trying to get the gear ready for the agreed upon roll-out time. Darth always seems to have his stuff ready to go. This time was no different. With a rather new BMW F800 GS under me which was fresh off its 600 mile break-in service (had it done the morning of departure), my plan was to strap all my gear on the back of the bike in a dry bag. Get home from work, throw the gear in the bag, and strap it on the back. Which normally works fine, but isn’t nearly as convenient as packing all your stuff the night before in boxes. On our first dirt road out of Coalville, Utah, at the top of Chalk Creek Canyon, one of the straps let loose, and I had to stop and redo the whole thing. Would have been easier to take my time and do it right the first time, and would have been a lot easier to throw all my gear the night before into side-mounted boxes. Oh well. The debate will continue over costs vs. convenience, adding weight to the bike vs. keeping it as light and nimble as possible. You get clarity on these issues after a weekend away from civilization. I’ll probably get some boxes. Check out some of the photos below. More can be found on our Flickr page, as well as Darth’s Shutterfly. We welcomed two new members to the crew on this trip, and nearly had a third who was ready to go Thursday night before departure, but canceled early Friday morning. Maybe the photos below will give you guys a taste of why you need to make it on the next one!

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I thought the team time trial was tomorrow, not today? Nobody told that to Team Columbia. What happened in today’s Tour results is going to reverberate throughout the peloton, and give the GC hopefuls plenty to think about as they try to sleep tonight. It’s really no surprise that Mark Cavendish rocked to a 2nd consecutive stage win, he’s clearly the fastest guy in the sprints. Unlike the final 3k leadout his team has perfected to deliver him to the line, today’s win was based largely on the fact that his entire team forced a split in the peloton about 25k out, and left a lot of favorites for the overall losing time today. The entire fricking Columbia team was up front drilling it in the split. Shades of U.S. Postal from the Vuelta years ago, when Bruyneel had the team drilling it in the crosswinds, leaving the hopes of a few GC contenders smashed before they even hit the mountains. Guess who was also in the front group of 29? Yup. Lance and Popo. In terms of the Astana team pecking order: advantage back to Armstrong. It will all get sorted out in tomorrow’s critical team time trial, but Contador is going to have a hard time getting to sleep tonight. Lance is his boogey man.

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