Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Enhance My Performance, Please

Oh, Freds.


Yes, once again, the Gran Fondo New York has caught themselves a doper:

"Five positive tests in six years of testing may seem a lot for an event where the majority are amateurs," says GFNY CEO Uli Fluhme. "It's simple though: you can't catch cheaters if you don't perform doping controls. And unfortunately most races still don't test sufficiently or at all." 

"We don't allow course cutting at our races so why would we look the other way when it comes to doping? GFNY riders train hard for races. They deserve a fair competition. We owe them controls, even if the costs are well over $10,000 each year. Not testing the athletes is the worst decision that a race director can make because it forces everyone to take drugs to try to level the playing field."

I'm conflicted.  On one hand he's right, certainly everyone deserves a "level playing field."  On the other hand, this is basically a $200 ride to Bear Mountain:
And you're naive if you think that's not going to attract two types of people:

1) Dope-addled third-tier pros and ex-pros looking to beat a bunch of amateurs;
2) Dope-addled corporate Freds in search of glory:

And by "glory" I mean a triple-digit placing:

If you want fair you're not going to find it at any kind of road race or Fondo, and frankly I'm not even confident the Brompton World Championships were clean:

I mean if they were I'd have won, it seems fairly obvious.

Perhaps next year they should move to a Gran Fondo format.

Speaking of competitive cycling, did you know that Andrew Talansky is using brain-zapping technology to win the Tour de France?
Okay, two things:

Firstly, if brain stimulators really worked, the first thing he'd do would be to quit bike racing, obtain an advanced degree, and get a career with a future.  Because once again, it's important to remember that the most successful cyclists the United States has ever produced is now...a podcaster:

As far as digital media careers, that's almost as low as being a blogger.

Seems to me that's a cautionary tale, and Talansky should use that brain zapper to learn computer coding or prep for the LSAT.

Secondly, while I realize what the writer meant by saying "America's top cyclist" and am not trying to bust his chops, it's nonetheless important to note that America's top cyclist is not Andrew Talansky.  It is in fact Coryn Rivera:

Who is ranked 12th in the entire world:

Whereas Talansky is merely ranked 72nd:

Though that still makes him the highest-ranked American male cyclist, which is kinda sad.  Indeed, as far as national rankings go, American women are ranked 4th in the world, while American men are ranked 17th.

So what does all this mean?

Well, I'm tempted to say it means that Americans should pay more attention to women's cycling, but they don't even pay attention to men's cycling, so the only truly sensible conclusion to draw is that American men suck and should quit racing bikes.

But back to the brain-zapper:

There's no doubt in my mind that this thing has a big future in cycling, mostly because it's expensive so the Freds will want it to prep for the Fondo:

Players in the NFL and MLB, Olympians, and Navy SEALs are among those who have tried Halo, but Talansky is one of just two cyclists at the sport's highest level we know of using neuroscience technology. The Halo Sport headset retails for $750, and the app is free, though the company said it may eventually launch a premium version.

I'm assuming the premium version is advertisement-free, whereas if you use the regular version you will hear ads in your head every 20 minutes for the rest of your life.

So how does it work?

After you download the Halo Sport app, which controls the headset, you moisten the headset electrodes ("primers") and neuroprime for 20 minutes, during which time you feel a tingly sensation at the top of your head as the device stimulates your brain's motor cortex. All the while you can listen to music through the headphones using your phone or music player.

After neuropriming, you have an hour of "afterglow" wherein you perform your most focused workout and, according to Halo, reap the greatest benefit.

So basically it works exactly like Denorex:

Seems legit.

Anyway, for best results, make sure to use the brain-zapper in conjunction with a comprehensive poop doping program.

And if you're wondering whether this is the same brain-boosting technology that Betsy DeVos was flogging, well, does it really matter?

Neurocore offers two types of treatments in particular, each lasting 45 minutes: One is biofeedback training, which involves watching your heart rate and respiratory rate on a monitor and learning to breath to achieve consistency in these rates. The other is neurofeedback, and for Neurocore's version, this involves watching movies that pause when your brainwaves are not in your pre-determined "therapeutic range."

Today it's more charter schools, tomorrow it's putting on your government-issued headphones and zapping your brain into submission.

Lastly, I already mentioned this on the Bike Forecast this morning, but if you're a New York City bike commuter researchers want YOU to help them learn about the effects of pollution:

If you agree to participate in the study, we'll ask that you wear air pollution monitors, a special shirt that monitors your heart rate, and an automatic blood pressure cuff for six 24 hour periods centered around six morning bike commutes. This gear poses minimal risk, and should not inconvenience you or cause any discomfort. It all fits in an exercise vest, and it won't slow you down when you ride.

It's a good thing the vest won't slow me down because I can't allow anything to compromise my Cat 6-ing.

Look for me on the Manhattan Bridge in my exercise vest and a pair of brain-zapping headphones.


Sam said...

next year I'll dope my way to 1st at the 5 borough bike tour...

Cinimod said...

Was too busy reading to race

McFly said...

Straight Outta Brompton

Spokey said...

coulda been a podi if i could tipe

Spokey said...

i want to know when the fondon't is gonna start testing

or is it going to stay in the realm of has-been pros who want to beat amateurs?

Anonymous said...


Cat 404 e-Racer said...

Let's change grim fondle goals from ride time to money raised. Freds blowing their wads on winning goals for fund raising might be left too desperately poor to dope.

Top Ten!

wishiwasmerckx said...

Does the Melting Pot restaurant chain sponsor the Grand Fondue?

82medici said...

"As Talansky made clear to Business Insider, he does not suggest that the technology delivers results overnight. Instead, he emphasized that, for him, the benefit came from using it often over a period with many focused workouts."

Do ya think any improvement he saw was due to the 'focused workouts' rather than the head massager?

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...



Unknown said...

vsk said ...

Late Tennus...


leroy said...

I guess this means I owe my dog an apology for making fun of his lemonade stand at the Gran Fondo NY.

But it really looked like he was selling dog piss.

Oh well, I guess this means I have to go along with him signing us up for the Columbia study.

Hope it isn't like the last test he signed us up for because it looks like Mr. Talansky has that covered.

JLRB said...

doping to win a gran fondo is like Studying for an eye exam

Anonymous said...

I went as the Denorex guy for Halloween one year!!! When I saw that ad, I cracked up.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

15th, Scranus!

N/A said...

What's the big prize at the Grand Fundip? $50k, $100k,... a million? Must be huge money for the Freds to go to such drastic measures and great personal expense just to win a bike race.

If you want to do it right, get yerself some of the ol' Wednesday weed and go for a casual ride with your friends out of the way of traffic. Maybe do some "mixed terrain" riding on a lovely bike path. No need to reverse the flow on your poop-chute, no need to buy a plastic Fred sled that costs more than a Hyundai, no need to do anything but ride and have fun. Weird, right?

dnk said...


dnk said...


dnk said...

Denorex tingles.

But Halo zaps.

Tells me it's doing more.

Hair Furor said...

I've just caught up on two weeks of supreme Bike Snobbing, and to recap:**

Boo Busses.
YAY 10 Year!! Congrats dude, you made it!
Folding Leg Tattoos!
Brain Zap?

**Those are also the answers to this weeks quiz.

1904 Cadardi said...


"Must be huge money for the Freds to go to such drastic measures and great personal expense just to win a bike race."

Worse, they aren't even winning. Guys, and I assume it's only men that are stupid enough to dope for a Fondue, are shooting up with EPO to break into the top 100!

Hee Haw the Barista's paranoid cousin Felix. said...

Betsy Davos is Eric Prince's lil' sister ... just sayin'.

BamaPhred said...

Neeewwwwpppp! No brain zapper for me. With my luck every time it zapped I'd wiz my bibshorts, or worse.

cdinvb said...

Putting new pedals on my 1997 Trek mountain bike. Paid $23, give or take, do you think that's about right? Or is it too much? They are new, new. Not just new to me.

BikeSnobNYC said...


Impossible to answer this question based on information provided.

--Wildcat Rock machine

holdsworth said...

tin foil hat!

Unknown said...

Wow, super fast response time, Snob.

N/A said...

If you aren't paying at least 300 U.S. fun tickets for pedals, you will experience a sub-par riding experience.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Bryan Bracy,

Running the new 72-point engagement commenting system.

--Wildcat Etc.

Anonymous said...

I want to moisten that Halo thing and put in on my balls.

janinedm said...

This won't answer the question, but have you ever had your choice of pedal clowned by the guys who made your bike? Well let me tell you that Henry Cutler, the WorkCycles guy, thinks my MKS Lambda pedals are ugly. Also not related, but this story reminds me of the time Jens Voigt said to me "good luck with your 30 kilo bike." I think he meant it in a nice way?

Anonymous said...

Betsy DeVos got that A Little Too Old MILF But Is Still In Good Shape So Why Not thing going on.

Chazu said...


So much great biek bloggery in one place. My inner geopolitical fred wouldn't mind getting worked into a lather over some choice geopoltical verbiage once in a while, but I guess I can click over to wonkette for that.

GreySpoke said...

-you moisten the headset electrodes
-'neuroprime' for 20 minutes
-feel a tingly sensation at the top of your head
-After neuropriming, you have an hour of "afterglow"

Geiger counter sold separately

Dooth said...

Halo, shmalo...I'm in the neuroprime of my life.

Rock and roll brainiac said...

Neurocore is the new hardcore.

Pist Off said...

Turd burgling, neurostim, late stroke kickback... shit's gettin kinky in this blog. I approve. Also, fuck Jens Voigt and any comment about bike weight. That way lies Freds.

Hill Slayer said...

So for all the complaining on this blog about NYC bike infrastructure - I had no idea how good New Yorkers have it. Bike shipped yesterday, spent the day biking around. Holy shit. There were bike lanes the entirety of my 7 mile commute, with the exception of a 5 block stretch. Most of them were protected, and on the *left* side of the one ways. And biking is so normal here! There were actual groups of bikers the entire way. The city bothered to make signs intended to be read by those in the bike lane, not just the car lanes. None of this happens in Chicago. Damn. I've been wavering between excitement to commute in NYC all day and utter fury at Chicago's lack of investment in overall transit infrastructure. Well done NYC. *claps*

BikeSnobNYC said...

Hill Slayer,

What is your commute?

--Wildcat Etc.

Fondo Lobotomy said...

Back in the day, we used to call it electroshock therapy.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Newest Fred Microbe pickup line - Can I push in my stool?

Going to Raise a Stink said...

If enough people were to engage in poop doping, would it be called a movement?

Anonymous said...

No, but you could call them shit disturbers.

Anonymous said...

Or shit pushers

Anonymous said...

Darn, second though "poop pusher" sounds better

Hill Slayer said...

Saint Marks and Vanderbilt to Union Square.

JuanOffue said...

Looks as though the science behind poop-doping is crappy:

Phil Jackson said...

You can't spell citizen without zen.

janinedm said...

I had a business dinner with some Australians last night, and boy did they have some opinions about NYC cyclists. Possibly related, I made very good time on my commute this morning. I attribute my 1mph faster than normal pace to the immediate effects of poop-doping via my ears. The microbiome is real, guys.

BikeSnobNYC said...


Australia: Earth's Florida.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

bad boy of the sooth said...

Florida..."for the newlywed and the nearly dead".wish I had made that one up.

Unknown said...

Rat bastards!