I had a great time cheering for @tomdanielson today. What a great role model! pic.twitter.com/48lCfk1If5— Kalan Beisel (@kalan_beisel) August 21, 2014
Well, it was amusing then:
“Professional athletes get heckled day in and day out…. I wasn’t telling him his momma was fat or anything,” said Kalan Beisel, who harangued Danielson on Thursday in Colorado Springs, to the point of prompting Danielson to extend a middle finger, mid-race. “I just called him a doper and told him he sucks. It was really simple … I don’t think it’s harsh at all. Personally I think he shouldn’t be racing in the peloton.”
And it's even more amusing-er now.
Also, STEVE TILFORD (who has earned all-caps status at this point in his cycling career) pointed out the following regarding Jonathan Vaughters:
In February, Vaughters told Cyclingnews, “It’s true we ask for that [scrutiny] and still in ten years we’ve not had a rider dope on our team. Ever. We’ve lived up to that. That was the initial promise. If that ever is broken then Doug and I are out.”
So presumably if Danielson's B sample comes back positive then it's exeunt Vaughters--assuming he's a Fred of his word, which of course we all know he is.
Anyway, saying a cloud of suspicion hangs over professional cycling is like saying Bill Cosby may be a bit of a philanderer. This puts us in a frustrating position, because we want to thrill to heroic cycling exploits, yet when we learn we're basically just watching pharmaceutical clinical trials on wheels then the thrill is gone. Essentially, watching pro cycling is now like watching reruns of "The Cosby Show," albeit without the still-reassuring presence of Phylicia Rashad.
So to whom do we turn for acts of two-wheeled derring-do? Well, I recently received the following press release about Giuliano Calore, a rider in whom we can all believe, at least for now:
STELVIO. AUGUST 03, 2015
A great, almost unbelievable achievement, the one that saw Giuliano Calore coming down the Stelvio no handed, with his bike without brakes and handlebars, during the night of July 31st 2015.
"It has been the most difficult record attempt in my life, I was ready from days but we had to wait for good weather conditions! This night at the 2750 mts. of the Stelvio Pass we still had a lot of wind and temperatures around zero degree, but I decided to go down anyway. And It was all simply perfect, with no crashes or stops at all!"
And here is the man himself:
12 Guinness World Records
1 Record still to be conquered
After reading the above list I was inspired to burst into song, though I couldn't decide whether to sing "...and a partridge in a pear tree" or "Day-day-enu..."
So instead I said "Fuck it" and just started beatboxing.
Anyway, there's also a movie about this daring and pointless cockpit-less Stelvio descent, and it reveals the story of how Calore became the Eddy Merckx of riding no-handed. Basically, when he was a kid his relatives owned an ice cream shop in Bologne:
So he'd ride there from Padova and back:
Which is a distance of 150 miles:
Naturally, he needed to ride no-handed to eat the ice cream, which is presumably how he honed his formidable no-hands skills. Of course, what the movie trailer doesn't address is that it only takes like five minutes to eat an ice cream cone, so why did he continue to ride no-handed for the remaining 74 miles of the return trip?
I suspect the reason is that after he ate the ice cream his hands were all sticky and he didn't want to mess up his bar tape, but I suppose I'll have to pay for the entire move to confirm whether this is indeed the case.
In any event, Calore went on to parlay his ice cream-eating skills into untold fame and fortune--so untold in fact that you never heard of him until today. Here is his in 1986 using a parachute as a brake:
Here he is executing some fancy footwork as he conquers the Dolomites:
And here he is getting some kind of Casio keyboard hand-up:
If this guy ever showed up at the Cross Crusade in Portland he'd be worshipped like a god.
In the meantime, it's heartening to see that the AARP has its own Patrick Seabase.
Meanwhile, at 77 years old Giuliano Calore is descending the Stelvio no-handed, yet at only 65 years old Bjork can't make a right-hand turn in a stupid Chevy Avalanche:
That's Richard Bjork, for the avoidance of confusion:
“The guy just shot across and I tried to avoid him and the car went out of control,” said the driver, 65-year-old Richard Bjork.
Bjork said he was making a right turn from Nostrand Avenue onto Avenue W around 6pm when the bicyclist zoomed past him on the crosswalk. After veering left to miss the biker, Bjork said his gas pedal stuck and sent his 2002 Chevy Avalanche hurdling into the building.
The bicyclist did not stick around after the crash, he said.
Wow. He smashed into a storefront while making a right turn? This is truly Coltrane-level, sheets-of-sound excuse-making. Firstly, he blames the cyclist, which is smart because everybody hates cyclists. Secondly, he claims the cyclist was in the crosswalk, because it's important to establish that the cyclist was doing something wrong, even if it has little bearing on the situation. Thirdly, he explains that he was "veering left to miss the biker," because when you're making a right-hand turn and you see someone in the crosswalk naturally you're going to take evasive action instead of, I dunno, using your freaking brake pedal and slowing your vehicle. And finally, for good measure he claims that in the process of all this veering "his gas pedal stuck."
I feel dizzy just reading it.
So let's take a look at this intersection. Here's Avenue W, where it intersects with Nostrand:
And here's some douchebag in the crosswalk, because in Brooklyn the deeper into the alphabet you go the more intense the motor-vehicular douchebaggery gets:
Now, in this image you see a silver car turning the same corner where Bjork heroically avoided an alleged scofflaw cyclist and sacrificed his beloved Chevy Avalanche to a storefornt:
Here's the Avalanche, represented by an Avalanche, and here's the cyclist, represented by Bret:
Now, if Bjork were paying attention and turning at a reasonable speed (a laughable notion in this part of Brooklyn, but bear with me), he'd simply stop when Bret entered the crosswalk, mutter "Friggin' cyclists" under his breath, and continue once the crosswalk was clear. But instead he somehow launches his truck clear across Avenue W and into a storefront, which incredibly does not contain a Dunkin' Donuts:
An occurrence all the more tragic because Bjork's truck had just won third place in the world's lamest auto show:
Bjork said he was returning home from a auto exhibition in Gerritsen beach, where his truck won third place for “best in show.” He said he felt unhurt after the accident and the FDNY later reported there were no injuries sustained from the crash.
Auto show podium, really? It's just an ugly white truck with some wheels he ordered online from the Tire Rack. There's 20 more impressive cars than that right now in the parking lot of your nearest Target.
Nevertheless, I'm glad Bjork emerged unscathed, though I was never too worried about the cyclist, because I'm fairly certain he doesn't exist.
Laslty, it looks like people are finally realizing you can integrate bike commuting with other modes of transport:
Walas said Park and Pedal, inspired by the president of Montague Bikes, mostly targets people who live in the suburbs and feel they have to drive all the way to work.
“Most people are either not willing to bike the whole distance, or are just not able to,” he said. “This is about just building awareness, and letting people know you can actually do this. It gives people the idea.”
Montague Bike, eh?
I knew it.
It's a conspiracy designed by "Big Fold."