Let Levi Ride

Speaking at a press conference on the eve of this year’s Tour of California Prologue, defending Tour of California champion and 2007 Tour de France podium finisher Levi Leipheimer unveiled LetLeviRide.com, a grassroots campaign to appeal the Amaury Sport Organization’s (ASO) recent decision to ban Leipheimer’s team, Astana, from participating in this summer’s Tour de France. Visitors to LetLeviRide.com have an opportunity to pledge their support for Levi and add their name to a petition directed at the ASO.

“With LetLeviRide.com I’m not disputing the ASO’s right to decide which teams it invites to the Tour and which teams it doesn’t,” notes Leipheimer. “I’m drawing attention to the fact that this decision by the ASO is completely arbitrary and unjust. I had nothing to do with Astana prior to joining the team this year. There are many other teams with tainted pasts that haven’t changed management or structure like the new Astana has, yet Astana is singled out and excluded. Where’s the consistency? By taking action now it looks political. It looks like the ASO has a grudge against a team that can win its races. My hope is that this campaign will encourage the ASO to reconsider its decision.”

On February 13th, the ASO barred Team Astana from competing in any race or event organized by the ASO in 2008. The ASO owns premiere cycling events like Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Tours, and the famed Tour de France. To justify its decision, the ASO cited the doping scandals of last year’s Tour de France.

For anyone who has followed cycling’s ongoing battle against doping, the ASO’s rationale is suspect. Astana’s entire organizational structure has been rebuilt under the direction of the team’s new General Manager, Johan Bruyneel, who has thoroughly cleaned house. What’s more, Astana has adopted the rigorous doping controls developed by the highly respected, anti-doping expert Dr. Rasmus Damsgaard, and Astana now spends more money on anti-doping controls than any other team in the pro peloton. There’s no comparison between the Astana team of 2007 and the new Astana.

“That the happenings of last year…prompted the Tour organizers to leave Astana out of the season’s most important race sounds understandable,” notes Bruyneel. “However, Astana Cycling Team 2008 has nothing to do with the team of last year. We have done everything to change the dynamics of the team. New management, new riders, new philosophy. Only the name of the sponsor remained.”

The ASO has nonetheless largely ignored the new Astana’s restructuring efforts, and as a consequence of barring the entire team from competing in ASO events, has stripped athletes like Levi Leipheimer of the opportunity to realize their life’s ambition of competing in the Tour.

My Trek Madone 6.5 WSD is Here!

MY NEW ROAD BIKE IS HERE!!!

Rob got the call on Saturday afternoon that my new bike had arrived. He took my old bike over to Bike America so that it could be raped and pillaged for parts. They had to build the new bike and switch my pedals, water cages and cycle computer from my old bike to the Trek. So I couldn’t actually pick my new bike up until 11 AM on Sunday – torture waiting for it, felt like a kid at Christmas time!

Went for a short ride out of Boynton Inlet after we got the bike. It was too freaking hot and my legs were tired from the day before and Rob’s butt hurt so we decided NOT to do the double century ride (do you detect a hint of slight sarcasm here?). But it was still a good test ride.

My bike ROCKS! It is super smooth even going over rough road, pot holes and manhole covers. Rob says that’s because it’s totally carbon, guess my Cannondale still had a bit of aluminum components mixed in with the carbon. Rob says the seat fits my butt cheeks very nicely – I think that’s his way of saying the Trek (at 52 cm) is a better fit for me than the Cannondale (at 50 cm) was.

I even rode in the drops for quite awhile and didn’t feel out of control. Never could ride the drops on my Cannondale – always felt like I was going to go careening off into space. The only problem I had was the brakes are much more responsive. I need to have a lighter touch if I want to avoid doing an endo into oncoming A1A traffic. I always had to squeeze the sh*t out of my Cannondale brakes.

I thought my Cannondale synapse 2 was the bomb, but now I’m ready to get my passport, buy a ticket to France and ride in THE Tour. Now I have to save my pennies for carbon water bottle holders, prettier pedals, etc…PIMP MY RIDE!!!

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Bicycle Month 2008

The Broward County Board of County Commissioners partners each March with Cycle Mobility to coordinate Bicycle Month.

The purpose of this special month is to:

promote bicycle safety and education.
offer leisure and recreational bicycling opportunities for all ages and abilities.
offer competitive/challenging cycling opportunities throughout Broward County within both public and private sectors.
More than 60 events are scheduled for Bicycle Month 2008, March 1 – 31. These cycling events offer leisure, competitive and recreational opportunities to promote bicycle safety and education in Broward County.

Some of the great activities scheduled include: Bicycle Rodeos, the Surfside Ride, the Multi-level Speed Rides sponsored by the South Broward Wheelers, a Motorola Cycle League lunch time ride, the Hospice 100 Mountain Bike Race & Benefit Ride, a Nature Bike Hike, and a Tandem Ride for the visually impaired.

Some events will offer T-shirt give-a-ways courtesy of South Florida Commuter Services, a program of the Florida Department of Transportation. Memorial Healthcare System will distribute 250 new helmets at scheduled events.

For more information visit the Broward County Department of Parks and Recreation or view the calendar of events.

3rd Place in Time Trial

My husband, Rob, and I did our first time trial today. I think the getting up at 5:15 AM in 47 degree weather was the worst part. I think it was going to snow!?!  That’s just slightly sarcastic – we live in SE Florida, so 47 is cold, but that would probably be a heat wave for the rest of the country.

The time trial was part of the West Palm Beach Time Trial Series. We missed the first one of 2oo8, which took place last month. But we are going to try to do as many of the remaining races as possible.

The time trial was only a 15K = ~9 1/2 miles. Don’t remember our exact times – 30 minutes maybe? Nasty headwind first half of the ride – I couldn’t freakin’ move my legs. Rob got 9th place for his age group – some hammerhead old dudes were out in force. The overall male finished in like 19 minutes – he had calves the size of oak trees.

And the best part of all – I got 3rd place in my age group – yippie! I don’t really think that means anything – I think there were only 4 girls in my group. But I got a $10 bill and a nice, shiny medal – cool!!!! So now I’ve got the bug, got to see if I can beat my own time next time. They give out a KILLER trophy for first place overall – I want bongdaso!