It’s in French, but doesn’t matter, no translation required. Sure, we’re mortal, but maybe, if we just keep moving, never stopping, we can be like this guy. So next time you wonder, is it too late to pull off something that maybe you should have done earlier in life… think about this guy. And go do it!
Just read that Bob Tetzlaff, a local racer from the way-back days, passed away yesterday. Hadn’t seen him in quite some time, but he was at the “Dino” (aka “Old Farts Ride”) that I didn’t make it to a couple weeks ago. Jenny, another (much closer) friend from the past, came by the shop the other day and mentioned how frail he had looked.
Bob was anything but frail when I knew him. At our racing club (Pedali Alpini) meetings we’d sometimes show films (almost called them videos!) of the more-famous local races, and I have vivid memories of Bob Tetzlaff riding up a steep grade no-handed… no-handed because he was using them to push down on his legs to help him climb!
What I remember most was a training camp he ran for juniors (15-18 year old racers), one day of which was held around Lexington Reservoir. He demonstrated to us how to throw an elbow and otherwise intimidate (and possibly crash) a competitor without being caught by an official (useful stuff!). This is where I should mention that Bob was a high-level ABLofA (Amateur Bicycle League of America) official. But as memorable was the crazy return from that ride, where we rode down 17, which is basically a freeway, down from the reservoir and take the first Los Altos exit. One of those rare exits from the left-hand lane. A mad-dog group of teenage competitive cyclists, racing the cars downhill and merging into the high-speed lane to exit. It was pretty amazing.
Interesting to think that I, and others, did have a history prior to digital cameras and internet ramblings. I should look through some of my writings in Competitive Cycling; I’m sure there’s something about Bob Tetzlaff in there someplace. But Bob has already found his way into oral history/story-telling, as my son has long known of the stories told here, without any audio-visual aids. Not even an 8mm projector. Just conversations about racing days past. –Mike–
We might see a backlash with the iPhone 5. Maybe it’s too early to say, but so far, can’t say I’m that impressed. The new taller shape is harder to hold, it’s no easier for older eyes to read (would have preferred they went a bit wider, not taller), and nothing really jumps out at you as being cool.
A bit lighter, yes, but I’m also noticing battery life initially seems worse than the 4S. It renders web pages faster (but the 4S was pretty good). The new map option, that supposedly gives turn-by-turn directions? Doesn’t seem as intuitive as Google’s app, and if you really want to be disappointed, click on the “3D” button. Wow. Simulates the effect of tilting a map on its side. I’m guessing that some of my disappointment comes from features that are still works in progress, and some from not yet understanding all the cool stuff it can do.
Yet this gadget is going to continue to sell through the roof. Why?
What Apple’s been able to nail is the collective/community experience. Everyone’s got to have the same thing. You’re all in it together. It must be right if everyone else has it. And if everyone has it, everyone’s on the same page, then if you can’t figure something out, there’s always someone around who can help.
Contrast that to my business. What WE have going for us is the individual thing. You’re not like everyone else, so your bike isn’t like everyone else’s either. It reflects how and where you want to ride, and it’s fit like a tailored suit. It’s special & unique, and bicycle product cycles run about 3 years, not 12 months. That’s pretty cool! And your bike can evolve with you; you don’t have to toss it out if you want lower gears for climbing or smoother-riding tires. Nor do you have to spend $40-$80 (maybe more!) in monthly charges. When your bike needs something, you pay for it. When you’re not using it, it doesn’t keep running up charges. And our attitude towards our product is that, if it does something it shouldn’t, we’re going to find a way to get it taken care of. Once your phone’s a year old, nobody’s going to do any detective work to figure out why something happened and help prevent such things in the future. They’re going to sell you a whole new phone, at an inflated price.
I see a future for the bicycle biz. Not exactly a rebellion from the Borg-like mentality that Apple has brought upon us, but a realization that there’s something to be said for a product that, used as directed, is fun and good for your body and mind. And, used as directed, disconnects you from the Borg grid and allows you some time to experience the real world with all your senses, not just your eyes and fingers on a tiny screen. Nevertheless, in the spirit of full-disclosure, it’s likely I’ll be one of those guys that has to have the latest iPhone on the day it’s released.
It started like any other morning, only it wasn’t. It was one of those very peculiar “high gravity” days, the ones where the facts aren’t supported by real science, but you know, for sure, that there really are days when it’s a lot tougher climbing than others. For everyone. Today was one of those days. Just four of us; myself, Kevin (pilot), Chris & Todd. The other Kevin (my son) couldn’t ride because he had an appointment with a surgeon that required no food or water 12 hours prior, and it’s not really a good idea to do a 30 mile ride without anything to drink (although, ironically, I don’t think I drank anything on this morning’s ride). Thankfully, this was the preferable “universal” high gravity day, not the sort that seeks out an individual target (which, unfortunately, I am victim of far too often).
But what a beautiful morning to ride. Again. A bit foggy at the start, but clear up on Skyline (again), and it seemed like we were literally chasing the receding fog ahead of us as we sped down the west side of 84 towards Old LaHonda.Today’s story is mostly about Kevin though (my son, not the pilot) who started out a normal 19 year old guy this morning, and ended up directly connected to Skynet. Or so it seems in the third photo above; this is a mere 4 hours after finishing surgery that implanted something called a Vagal Nerve Stimulator into his body & brain. He just couldn’t wait to get connected to the hive, the collective master brain that is otherwise known as MMPG (massively multiplayer game). I had no idea it would happen so fast.
The hopeful side-effect of this hard-wiring to his brain will be a reduction, perhaps even an elimination of his epileptic seizures. This implant has been a long-time coming; he first had to fail 7 or 8 different meds that are normally effective, but in Kevin’s case haven’t completely controlled his seizures. We’ve got great hopes for this electronic gadget! –MIke–
Sure, the vagal nerve stimulator Kevin’s in the hospital for is supposed to help with his seizures. But that’s just the cover story. This is the •real• future of doping. Direct electrical stimulation of the brain. The DS carries a remote control box and controls his riders as if he had a cattle prod, only better!
“CVV, Zabriskie, Danielson, while all clearly have a past…” (Cyclingnews 9/5/12)
So did Vaughters throw VandeVelde, Zabriskie and Danielson under the bus, or what?
I think this is how the powers-that-be want things to turn out-
“If everybody doped, then nobody doped.” Basically, you get people into the thinking that it’s a foregone conclusion that riders of that era doped, so does it make sense to individually vilify people, or do you say that’s in the past, people have changed, time to move on? It also reminds one of the famous “I am Spartacus” scene-
In truth, if Lance had been a better-liked member of the peloton, we might very well have seen something like the Spartacus scene, as in “I am Lance.” But within the bike racing community, Lance may have had all the friendships he could buy, and when the racing ended, so, it seems, has much of the loyalty and friendships to one of the greatest athletes in sports, doping or not.
This could be just the tip of the iceberg. It could suddenly become a negative thing for your career to deny doping, but handled properly, especially early on in the process, outing yourself could be beneficial. The unfortunate part of all this is that those who actually did ride clean… well, they didn’t get any respect back then, and they’re not likely to now. A lost generation, as they say. The credibility of anyone claiming to have ridden clean back in the day has been strained past belief.
Lance may have opened the door on this (it suddenly becoming “in” to admit to doping); his absolute intractability lent itself to people seeking a way to forgive those perceived to be more reasonable about such things.
Nice guy that I am, I let Patrick, our Redwood City service manager, borrow my prior ride… a 2007 Trek Madone 5.9 SSL with a very distinctive “Fighter Ace” paint job. A nice, faster alternative to the ‘cross bike he’d been using to do long rides on.
Unfortunately, this past Monday (August 27th, 2012) he went into a 7-11 in Palo Alto for “just a second” to get something, and poof, the bike was gone when he came back out. What we’re looking for is a 60cm bike that looks pretty much exactly like the photo here, with “ChainReaction.com” on one side of the top tube (close to the seat tube), and may or may not still have 10-speed DuraAce shifters, derailleurs & brakes. Cranks may or may not still be Bontrager carbon. Just like in the photo. Wheels I’m not sure of; Patrick had put on his own. Serial# WL3327306.
Reward? I’m sure Patrick will put up a case (or two) of beer, since this bike’s worth about $2k on the frame and maybe another $500 for the used DuraAce components. And I’ll offer 10% off any new bike for its return, and $500 if its return results in the conviction of a real live bike thief! –Mike–
Just arrived at our hotel in Belgium. Really didn’t have to get up at 6:15am this morning; plenty of cabs waiting outside our hotel, and you can arrive 5 minutes before the train leaves and you’re fine. No passport controls, just get on board and go. Far more civilized than flying! Presently we’re going to walk to Grand Place while waiting for a room to become available. Then maybe sleep for a bit.
Pretty sure Lance timed his announcement that he wasn’t going to seek arbitration (and thus accept the loss of his Tour de France titles) so that it would be somewhat “stale” when L’Equipe could get around to printing it. L’Equipe, a French sports magazine, has been all over Lance from the beginning, so it’s likely the last thing he’d want is for them to have the new info in a timely fashion. A small measure of revenge on Lance’s part.
I bought all 4 copies I could find at the train station, which got me to thinking, if I could buy every copy in existence, would the story not have happened?
We still don’t know what the USADA has on him, we still don’t know if George Hincapie, perhaps the only universally-believable witness, said anything to support the allegations of the various other witnesses. If he did, then it’s possible that Lance chose the path he did to help shield an old friend from having to look like a bad guy. If George did not corroborate the USADA account, then this story will never end.