July 23, 2010

Castelli Pioggia 2 Cycling Shoe Cover Review

Doesn't a pair of light, but waterproof shoe covers sound great for rainy days in summer? And they were OK for a while. They weren't all that waterproof though. I couldn't really get a very good seal on the top of the shoe cover, so rain would run down my leg and into my shoes. They were windproof though and a reasonable alternative when riding in cool weather in spring and fall.

Now the bad news. After a single ride on a wet dirty road day for about 100 km, the zippers work like crap. The nylon teeth just got jammed up and I now have a heck of a time doing them up or undoing them. They have one of those zippers with the tiny coil nylon teeth. After that particular ride, it took me about 20 minutes just to get the zipper down without breaking it. I then cleaned the zippers and lubed them and I can get them up and down without killing myself. But the teeth are chewed up a bit and they will never work properly again. A pain to use now. I'm going to try the Pearl Izumi barrier lite covers that have no zipper. Nothing to go wrong I figure. We shall see. They are way cheaper too.

These babies were expensive. Definitely not recommended. Those tiny coil zippers suck for shoe covers. I have a generic pair of neoprene shoe covers with the big fat toothed zippers that have worked perfectly for years though. But they are made for cold weather and not a warm rainy ride or even a cool ride.

July 17, 2010

Dan's Diary on Ozcyling.com

I just stumbled across this site a few days ago. What a gem. Dan's Diary is hilarious, but it doesn't let you link or embed the videos too well. Oh well, check it out for yourself at Ozcycling. I've only watched a few of them, but I found them pretty entertaining. I like the Aussie humour though.

Actually, take a look at the rest of the site too. Nice change from the more mainstream media. Go Cadel Go.

July 16, 2010

Would Tom Boonen Do It That Way?

Pretty funny stuff- two skinny cyclists fighting. Barreda (from Quickstep)trying to club the Rui Costa senseless with a wheel. What do they think this is? Hockey? Better start taking lessons if you're going to fight. These guys just crack me up. Although I would be pissed if I was Rui Costa - didn't quite get a chance to wail on Barreda after he took the wheel away from him.

Renshaw Gets the Boot - One More Thing

Robbie McEwan makes a really good point in this video. In the days before the leadout train, you could punish a sprinter by taking away their points, relegating them to last, etc. In the modern era of sprinting only a handful of sprinters are actually going for the win, the rest are simply cannon fodder to get the team sprint leaders a good lead out. There is no possible penalty you could give them that they care about, except kicking them out of the race. So, if you are the Tour de France Race Jury and you need to make a point with one of the lead out specialists, you have no choice but to kick them out. Otherwise your penalties are really just a pathetic joke. Are we going to see sprinters being kicked out of races more in the future? Probably, as the lead out train is the way the sport is evolving. Not a bad thing, just the way it has to be if you want to enforce the rules for the lead out men.

Some good comments in this vid.

July 15, 2010

Renshaw Kicked Out of LeTour For Playing Chicken

Wow. I thought Cavendish was aggressive when he ran into Haussler and that whole spitting thing. Renshaw makes him look pretty well-mannered by comparison. First he repeatedly head butts Julian Dean to stop him from passing. Certainly disrupts the Garmin lead out. Then he looks over his shoulder, sees Tylar Farrar coming and squeezes him into the barriers to slow Farrar as he squeezes by. Cavendish should buy him a case of beer for helping him win, since he won't be racing in LeTour any more this year and can get as drunk as a skunk now.

Pretty dangerous racing - basically a game of chicken. Overly aggressive bullying tactics against riders who have a little more respect for the sport. Glad he's out if that's the way Columbia wants to play the game. And the interesting race for the green jersey continues. Another interesting fact. Zabel, who is the Columbia sprint coach, was also penalized for head butting in 1997. He went from first place to last place. Hmm. I wonder where the Columbia guys get their aggressive inspiration?

Good view of head butt and then Renshaw running Farrar into the barriers.

July 03, 2010

Bradley Wiggins - Worst Race Strategist Ever?

So you get the privilege and honour of starting 4th from last in Le Tour. But you think... Hmm.. Maybe it will rain for the favourites. I know some guys who are great at predicting the weather (50/50?). They sail boats. They tell me I can ride early and WIN. Now that's a plan!!!!

Now when you think about it there are a few choices for Sky's spectacular grand-master type strategist. You can race with the fast guys. Mano a mano. If conditions suck, they suck for all the big guns. And you don't lose any time (based on the weather at least) to them. Of course, you have to be able to post a respectable time on a level playing field.

Now for the Sky chosen strategy. Let's predict the weather. Everyone knows how predictable the weather is. We have decades of weathermen who have to withstand the regular failure of their predictions to prove it's not a reliable science. And they know what they are doing - they aren't a bunch of rich hobbyist sailors that Sky uses for their expert advice. If you are right, you gain some time on the favourites. If you are wrong, you lose time on the favourites. I guess Sky felt lucky - maybe they felt their name gave them special leverage with the weather.

Wrong. You lose. And judging from the results, it's questionable if Wiggo could have kept up with the favorites anyway. So maybe that was the point? A built in excuse to save face?  We shall see, but I'm not expecting too much from Wiggins this Tour. If you really thought you were a contender, you would race with them instead of taking a desperate gamble on the first day. Some other contenders on the team though.