Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday: The Olive Loaf in the Sandwich of Your Work Week

Having already written the definitive ride report on L'Eroica, I'd like to loiter on "the boot" for a bit, and take a look at the "controversy" surrounding the death of Marco Pantani:


Marco Pantani’s place of death at the Le Rose hotel in Rimini, Italy, was investigated poorly according to his family’s lawyer. A newly-released video taken on the day of his death, February 14 2004, shows police fumbling though the room and appears to support the case.

Careless Italian police officers?  I don't believe it.

Here's that video, by the way:



Wow.  That detective is either mishandling the evidence or else handling it extremely well, depending on how you look at it.

As for Pantani's death, his family believes he was forced to drink a lethal amount of cocaine for some reason:

Family lawyer Antonio De Rensis pushed for Rimini’s prosecutor to re-open the case after gathering new information. According to a report in Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper in August, he said that Pantani let known men into his room early in the morning. The men hit the 34-year-old cyclist and forced him to drink cocaine diluted in water. They carried his body down the stairs of the bi-level room, left him for dead and purposely made the room to look disorganised.

Sure, people are coerced or duped into drinking deadly potions all the time--in movies.  But real life isn't the "battle of wits" scene from "The Princess Bride,"  nor do people just neatly imbibe liquids because people order them to do so "or else."  And the murderers purposely made the room look disorganized?  Come on.  Murdered or not, there's no question Pantani was a drug addict--and if there's one thing drug addicts are not known for, it's their tidy rooms.

Maybe Biggie and Tupac were also involved.

Another Italian cycling hero who's come under scrutiny lately is Mario Cipollini, who--and you're not going to believe this--may have doped during his career:


"Shadows surround the former sprinter?"  Not exactly.  Those are just grease spots, like when you put the bacon you just cooked on a section of paper towel.

But while "Cipollini doped" may be news to absolutely nobody, this article does provide some insight into his childhood:

At school, his teachers complained that Cipollini was clever but bone idle or distracted. At home, he wreaked chaos. Aged six, he found the keys to his mum’s Fiat 500 and took it for a spin around the family house in San Giusto di Compito. A few years later, the manager of the Gis team, Piero Pieroni, visited the Cipollini’s to negotiate Cesare’s first pro contract. Pierini remembers Mario being so hyperactive that his parents had to tie him to an olive tree.

That last part may sound strange, but I saw a lot of children tied to olive trees in Italy--though it's worth noting that in Cippolini's region the olive harvest that year was...unusual:


For his part, Cipollini denies paternity and has settled with the Olive People for an undisclosed sum.

Anyway, given his youthful hyperactivity, it seems to me that Cipollini has an iron-clad excuse for any doping, which is that he was simply self-medicating for ADD--or for withdrawal symptoms caused by sexual absinence:

Even to the most world-weary, brutalised observer of professional cycling, La Gazzetta’s allegations amounted to a long and particularly filthy laundry list. Based on documents seized from Doctor Fuentes and displaying a telephone number that the newspaper’s journalists recognised as Cipollini’s at the time, they were able to hypothesise that the sprinter had paid Fuentes over €130,000 for treatments and products including EPO, testosterone, human growth hormone and blood transfusions over four years between 2001 and 2004. The extent, rather than the nature of the alleged crimes, was most shocking: two blood bags in the fortnight before his 2002 world championship road race triumph in Zolder (also, incidentally, the period over which he claimed to have abstained from sex), and 25 in total the following season.

Speaking of stuff that's impregnated and self-lubricating, a number of people have been forwarding me articles about the new $450 Silca pump, which comes with a wooden box, because where do you keep your pump, you Fredly philistine?


The SuperPista Ultimate’s plunger tube is hard-anodized and PTFE impregnated, the same as the stanchions on high-end mountain-bike forks, and it slides smoothly without wobble in a high-precision IGUS self-lubricating plastic bushing in the top cap, even when pulled all the way out. The cup-shaped leather plunger is the same as it always was on Silca floor pumps of yore. It is made of the finest full-grain leather by the same company in Milan’s fashion district that has made it since 1960, using the same machines. (the pump’s check valve is still made by the same Italian vendor who has supplied them to Silca since 1946). Why a leather plunger seal? Just ask pro team mechanics; when going to stage races in Qatar and Oman, they clamor for Silca pumps because they continue to work in sandy environments that destroy the rubber plunger O-rings in most pumps. The sand just collects in the grease in the leather plunger cup, and its lips still seal along the cylinder walls. And like all Silca pumps of yore, you can just pull out the shaft, wipe off the leather washer with your fingers and relube it by filling the cup with grease and keep it pumping indefinitely.

Finally!  A sand-specific pump for your sand-specific bike:


If you're as concerned as I am that you may not be inflating your tires to within a 1% margin of error then there's no way around it, YOU NEED THIS PUMP!


This laboratory-grade gauge is accurate to +/-1%, far beyond the standard +/-5% industrial gauge widely found on bike pumps.

The average Fred has no idea how much pressure he should be running in his tires and slavishly obeys whatever arbitrary figure is printed on his sidewalls, but at least with the Silca he can rest assured he's inflating them exactly wrong.

Also, keep in mind that your tire pressure changes with altitude, so make sure you stop after every meter climbed or descended and re-adjust your pressure as needed.

Of course, for best results, you should always use your precision pump in conjunction with a tire pressure smartphone app:


Simply enter your weight, your bicycle's weight, the width of your tire, the width of your rim, your frame tube angles, your stem length, your saddle setback, the make and model of your bib shorts, the hardness of the road surface dressing, the ambient temperature, and your local AQI (Air Quality Index), and the app will inform you of the exact location of the nearest psychiatrist.


By the way, the commonly-accepted medical treatment for Tire Pressure Obsessive Disorder is to tie yourself to an olive tree.

Lastly, while we're looking at obsession, here's a video about the world's tallest tall bike:


I wonder what pressure he was running.

94 comments:

Stuart Rasmussen said...

hi

CommentatorBOT9000 said...

first-ish?

Stuart Rasmussen said...

BTW, Backlog thankyou......

Anonymous said...

fuck!

3G said...

25 blood bags in one season!? Jimminy Christmas!!! His DNA must be so confused.

OLIV EMAN

mikeweb said...

Time for lunch.

Dave - Everywhere said...

Earth to Silca....

IT'S JUST A FUCKING PUMP!!

There, now I feel sooo much better!

Dylan Mackintosh said...

Top Ten!

Anonymous said...

Maybe top Ten !!

vsk

JLRB said...

For some reason that Silca pump looks a lot like dentist equipment ...

JLRB said...

I dropped an olive loaf off my baggage carrousel after morning coffee

benDE said...

I can't wait for the 'Marty Jemison knuckle sandwich' to the first smartass reporter to confront the Lion King.

Step right up Daniel!!

Comment deleted said...

StoopidTaller bike made me really happy. I love grand, idiotic gestures.

But, dude! Slam that stem!

PBateman said...

dang just missed. was too busy getting all weednesdayed up.

mikeweb said...

I think that stoopid tall bike dude is the brother of the Red Hook crit dude.

Freddy Murcks said...

I crashed this morning on a trail while riding my mountain bicycle. It hurt quite a lot. I don't think it was because I was running the wrong tire pressure. Instead, I crashed because I am an idiot and I apparently don't know how to ride a bike. I panicked and used way too much front break (I have dick breaks, by the way) on a soft, rocky section where I should have been using no front break.

Thank you, Snob, for providing me with a forum for ballyhooing about my own stupidity.

trama said...

GOOD READ
FUNY STUF

Downtown Hotel said...

On a bike THAT tall, you reach altitudes where your brain is atrophied but your balls are enormous.

Anonymous said...

Simply enter your weight, your bicycle's weight, the width of your tire, the width of your rim, your frame tube angles, your stem length, your saddle setback, the make and model of your bib shorts, the hardness of the road surface dressing, the ambient temperature, and your local AQI (Air Quality Index), and the app will inform you of the exact location of the nearest psychiatrist.

Classic!


Anonymous said...

vsk said ...


Stupid Tall -

Vertically stiff,
Laterally you gotta be kiddin me!

Flex much?

His helment would definitely stop any puctured lung from occurring from a fall.

Does it come in full crabon feebray?

vsk

Anonymous said...

500 dollar pumps? Way to go there making cycling affordable for the masses. In the future, only Donald Trump's kids will be able to afford the new "lighter than air" bikes($42,000,000 for a Trek). They will win all the races.

cycle

Anonymous said...

IS stoopidtaller a fixie?, because that would make it perfect

crosspalms said...

I'd like to hear Scarlett Johansson and Barry White take turns reading that Silca description.

PBateman said...

Damn that is a tall bike.

normally i can only handle the first 15 seconds of hipster bykeen videos, but i actually got a little nervous seeing the footage from atop his stupidtall bike (i have a fear of medium heights in the 20-200 foot range. anything over that then i'm usually flying so its okay).

most dramatic video i can recall on this here "blog".

i guess congrats to him that he achieved his dream. and i won't even be so cynical as to suggest that he find better dreams. he's an american, he can dream of whatever he wants.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how practical the tall bike is for daily commuting.

babble on said...

I can get on board with Stoopid.

Anonymous said...

Man every time I read a story about Marco Pantani, it makes me crave cocaine.

CommentatorBOT9000 said...

Not sure tall biker qualifies as a "hipster":
- He built something real with his own hands.
- He knows the dangers.
- He does it anyway.

McFly said...

Pretty sure they meant "....abs stained from sex."

Flyover BC said...

Seems like the internal air pressure would be more or less constant, if you don't factor in leakage.

At the same time, the internal air pressure relative to external air pressure will change with altitude.

My bike hasn't scene see level since it was unloaded in California some time in the last millennium.

So what is the correct pressure to run in my tires?

If I ride from the house at 6500' asl to 9000' asl, do I need to adjust the tire pressure every few hundred feet altitude to maintain the relative internal and external pressures, and vice versa on the ride down?

Oh, never mind.

balls™ said...

You don't have the plums to admit those olives are pears.

Anonymous said...

I tried a leather plunger seal once. My scranus was sore for a month.

crosspalms said...

I think McFly just took early lead for COD.

PotbellyJoe said...

Little known fact, Billy Joel originally wrote Pressure about his bike tires but the producer, Phil Ramone, was South African and having little to no knowledge of cycling told Billy Joel to buy a Porsche and rewrite the song.

bad boy of the north said...

wildcat,are you sure that wasn't you tossing the dough while waiting for your flight home?

mikeweb said...

crosspalms, I second that commotion.

Bryan said...

Tossing the dough....so that's the PC term for what Cipo does now, is it?
That tall bike was stoopid. I mean, he "forgot" it was xmess eve? I forget what day of the week it is on a daily basis, but you don't see me obsessing over some tall bike. I'm amazed there wasn't a kickstarter for it first. Anyways, 789 robots today

Bama Phred said...

Good grief, the silca pump description. I thought I was reading Hustler. Pull it out, wipe it off, re-lube, keep on pumping. Is there a 4 hour limit before you have to call the paramedics?

badcomputer_3408709u said...

Excuse me, but a Silca is not just another pump.

25+ years later, I have only replaced the leather plunger once and the rubber presta thing inside the brass head twice. For about $100 at the time. A cycling bargain!

Meanwhile, a $400 super-fred pump is cheap when there are real people spending more than $5K on a bike.

The guy that now owns Silca has done extremely well in the industry producing products freds rejoiced in buying. As long as he's making plungers and rubber grommet things, I wish him the best.

badcomputer_3408709u said...

Freddy Murcks,

Are we talking face-plant or front wheel washout, or ??

N/A said...

The tire pressure app also requires your scranal contact-patch dimensions, and also if you are sprung or un-sprung.
An un-sprung scranus is markedly more hostile to under-inflated tires.

W.

Freddy Murcks said...

badcomputer_3408709u - the $400 Super Pista is for freds who can no longer get pleasure from pumping their own meat, so they buy a super slick bike pump so that they can drool all over the overenginerd parts.

I own a Silca. I paid about $30 for it and it may seem unbelievable but it has all of the same replaceable parts that the $400 Super Pista has. I am sure that I could pass it on in my will if I was so inclined. A $400 bike pump is just a stupid waste of money.

wishiwasmerckx said...

My silca is now about 25 years old and still going strong.

Freddy Murcks said...

badcomputer_3408709u - Front wheel washout. Frustrating and painful because I am supposed to know better.

leroy said...

Act I, Scene 1

(Somewhere in Italy)

My dog: Knock knock

Me: Who's there?

My dog: Olive

Me: Olive who?

My dog: Olive the night life, I got to boogie on the disco round ....

gE said...

The average Fred who has $450 to shell out for a pump probably wants the gauge at the top where he can read it with his old Fred eyes. Or does it have bluetooth to display on his smart watch?

Bryan said...

if I had $450 laying around that the wife told me was mine to spend on bike stuff....I would find another bike to own, not a damn floor pump. I might end up with another N+1 soon, depending on the price a friend of mine is thinking of selling an old bike for

JLRB said...

Hey now, where is the promised recipe warm pumpkin salad with polenta and candied pumpkin seeds?!?

JLRB said...

And I third the locomotion on the McComment of the day

balls™ said...

My last cheap non-fred pump gave out after 3-4 years. I spent $45 on a new one. Done.

Why would I spend 10x that on a pump that still just installs air in my tires? Following that logic I should replace the Subaru with a Ferrari just because better.

grog said...

Yeah, I'll have a pizza. But not that one.
PUMP GOOF
TALL BIKE
MISS BABE

JLRB said...

Pantini's sad death reminds me of this 1980's song

Anonymous said...

I am disappointed that tall bikes don't have their own wheel size.

Barry Obola said...

If you like your tire pressure you can keep it

Mario C said...

Legheranno all'ulivo e dimostrare a voi la bravura del mio osso inattivo.

Euro Spondee said...

Pumpin' porn and Snob back to being snarky - what's not to like, and I haven't started on the Wedsweed yet...

JLRB said...

Wow - what a waste of effort that tall bike is - sort of like a big jacked up Hummer to me - if I am going down the divorce road it isn't going to be because I spent Christmas Eve welding a bike with the sole purpose of getting my name in a book. THAT is why they still publish phone books.

(But I have to admit the video was captivating enough that I watched the whole thing, so that says something, or not)

Twob Rake said...

Why does the tall bike have a bell?

Anonymous said...

vsk said...

Topeak Joe Blow
Topeak Road Morph
Topeak Road Rage (with the rebar inside).

Nuff sed.

At least there were no Snob volleys back and forth. I hope Fred of the Sea has not abandoned us!

Figures, gasoline prices are falling and the boat's coming out of the water soon.

vsk

JLRB said...

pretty sure FOS is not sea fredding today - quite a front came through the land of the dome today - might be battening the hatches (I get all my nautical terms from popeye and sponge bob)

Anonymous said...

snobs-phoning it in today, are we?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 4:42pm,

What is "snobs-phoning?"

--Wildcat Rock Machine

CommieCanuck said...

Whaaaa?? Italian riders doping? Say it ain't so, Guiseppe. Pantani? Who next? Ivana and Elisa Basso?

Cipollini was always "Mr. 60%", but that was referring to a custom mix of Viagara, Cialis, Olive oil, blasmaic vinegar and rufies.

JB said...

...and her lips still seal along the cylinder walls. And like all Frederiques of yore, you can just pull out the shaft, wipe off the leather washer with your fingers and relube it by filling the cup with grease and keep pumping indefinitely.

CommieCanuck said...

What is "snobs-phoning?"

That's those calls you get at 4am on call display with 212 area code with heavy breathing, a sarcastic comment about your bib shorts and a request to know if your refrigerator is running, followed by a request to talk with Oliver Klothesoff, then some infantile giggling.

Lumpencommentariat said...

I'm not usually one to brag, but I have a Silca Magnum. Just the thing for 29er tires.

Anonymous said...

Im surprised no ones going off on the "beach racer" bike. You take a bike on a beach and its pretty much toast after 5 or 10 rides in that sand and salt. Why then would someone buy a $20000 beach racer? We cyclists cant find enough ways to wad up a pile of cash, shit on it then light it on fire? Glad someones thinking up some new cash disposal methods because i was running out of bad ideas

JLRB said...

And now comes Commie-CAnuckleballer with a late entry for COD!

trama said...

@anonymous 541 who hates the beach racer;

How dare you. How dare You. How DARE you. As a proud future owner of a grevel bike, I can assure you the need for the sand racr has long kept me from happiniess. If only I had a sand racer! Whats that you say? Salty sand is no good for my high qwality Ultegara drivetrain? Pshaw, that's why I always have two pit bikes for my 3.45 miles races. Get with it bro.
Dude, also, not trying to rub it in or anything, but its got special blue handelbras.

JLRB said...

While the whiff of travelogue is still in the air, anyone ever ride a biek around San Antonio? I have to go there and I see they have bike-share type bikes in the downtown area.....

Anonymous said...

A list of long and particularly filthy laundry? Pictures or it didn't happen.

Anonymous said...

Why's Tony The Tiger riding a bike?

dop said...

Wow..cars on the beach in the Netherlands...just like Daytona..I should buy a Koga Beachracer for that next trip down to Volusia County when I visit my mom

dop said...

Wow..cars on the beach in the Netherlands...just like Daytona..I should buy a Koga Beachracer for that next trip down to Volusia County when I visit my mom

Flyover BC said...

JRLB

used to be that San Antonio was in the top three of most dangerous cities to drive in. Don't know about bikes and these days.

The other two were Houston and El Paso.

Anonymous said...

I used to have two Silca pumps, A floor pump made out of Columbus tubing that I still own after 27 years, and a frame pump that had the Campy metal head on it that sadly fell off when I had my bike on the front rack of a Metro Bus. I miss that frame pump quite a bit. I haven't been able to find a decent replacement for it.

frilly said...

Abstains from sex

Not if I'm around! Bomb chicka bomb bomb!

Anonymous said...

vsk said...

"Snob" the verb - to contact someone in the Bike Snob NYC comments.

Just snobbed Fred/Sea but he's not answering.

I can't skype Ms. Babble, I'll snob her instead.

Unrelated, market took a big intraday dump today.

vsk

babble on said...

Started days ago, really. Does it still qualify as a correction, or have we entered bear territory?

babble on said...

And now I'v read the comments, too...
Lol! Between Commie, McFly, and our own snobberdooders, you can always count on a laugh over here. Cheers, gentlemen. :D xo

Anonymous said...

Well of course there will not be ab stains......if one is kind enough to swallow.

Grump said...

Snobby, as for the Pantani murder, you seem to forget about the "Ernst Blofeld" of the cycling world. Namely, that Lance Armstrong, that fiend, was getting worried that Sweet Marco was getting close to him in the amount of doping products that he was using.

Obvious to the meanest intelligence.

Anonymous said...

A
C
S
R
S
U
N

terry said...

a leopard cannot change his shorts

Give No Quarter said...

I think that the Silca Super Pista pump's price is overinflated.

Tall Tale said...

People go to great lengths to win world records, don't they.

benDE said...

Ok,table conversation last night here in the formerly capitalized city of Germany:

'did you hear about the model killed in NYC?'

'Yeah, she got run over and dragged by a bus . . . no helmet'

And I thought we were etwas gesch├╝tzt from such a train of thought over here. But he is Russian, so . . .

benDE said...

benDE @ 4:43

You are an idiot. I read the article and it looks like the helmet could have saved her. The better question should be: why the fuck was she riding with a cloth shopping bag? I'm pretty good at bike and would never do that.

Pump Master said...

You dirty little people love some pump porn don't ya? All the naughty little photo's of the cylindrical shafts oscillating hither and fro.

90 said...

9D

Just Kidding said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and emotions every day - it is such a thankless role - only to be mocked by the very people you entertain. I feel your pain.

Anonymous said...

StoupidTallbike Crit at Burning Man 2015 I hear. They'll light the skytorches.

Anonymous said...

BRO!!! I WAS AT ERTOICA FOR THE RIDE BRO!!!!
I DID NOT KNOW U WERE THERE!!!

BRO, you are WRONG about PANTANI thing.... IT IS NOT SO BLACK AND WHITE!!!! GAMBLING bro.... GABLIN on races and MAFIA...

--MTBSnobNYC

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