Bike riders = dopers?

29 01 2011

As most everyone knows, Lance Armstrong is still in the news fighting the drug allegations. And while it sounds like that investigation may not wrap up for quite a while, Alberto Contador‘s “tainted meat” defense seems to be falling apart as he received a one-year provisional suspension and may be stripped of last year’s Tour de France title (depending on the outcome of his appeal). Obviously, I have no idea who does or doesn’t dope during their career in the Tour (and in a way, I don’t really care). This guy, though seems to have it all figured out (warning: language is probably NSFW). Still, it cracked me up. Enjoy:

It’s a shame that performance-enhancing drugs seem to tarnish just about every sport to some degree. But as long as athletes have to compete against other athletes who do use drugs, there’s no good way to level the playing field. New guidelines and testing will continue to be done, but each new drug test just opens the door for someone to figure out how to cheat and circumvent the drug tests. It’s a never-ending circle. Still – drugs or no drugs – I always enjoy watching the Tour each year. I can’t wait to see what happens this year!

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.

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Day 347: Cycling documentaries

16 12 2010

While poking around YouTube today I found trailers for several cycling movies I thought I’d share:

“Bicycle Dreams” – a 2009 documentary about the Race Across America. I’m not sure how I missed this film, but I’ll be adding it to my Netflix queue if it’s available:

“Where Are You Go: Cairo to Capetown by Bicycle” – another good film I’m unfamiliar with. Apparently part of the Bicycle Film Festival

“Chasing Legends” – I’ve been wanting to see this one since I heard about it earlier this year:

And of course, there’s “Ride the Divide” – another film I’d really like to see, which documents the 2,700-mile ride along the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains. And according to the end of the trailer, you can rent the video for $3.99 on YouTube and a portion of the fee will benefit LiveStrong.

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.





Day 284: WADA questions Contador’s “tainted meat” excuse

14 10 2010

Ruh roh. The World Anti-Doping Agency apparently doesn’t believe Alberto Contador’s story about tainted meat being the source of the clenbuterol that was found in his system.  He’ll also have to answer for the presence of plastic residue which was also found in his system, possibly indicating a blood transfusion was involved. (For previous posts mentioning this story, check here and here.) One bit of news I haven’t heard about until today, is the accusation that an “anonymous source” from team Astana who claimed that Contador used clenbuterol during the Criterium du Dauphiné earlier this summer. Hmmm.

In a related story, due to the ongoing investigation, both Contador and Alessandro Petacchi will both skip the 2011 Tour de France presentation scheduled for next Tuesday. And in other news, the general director of WADA said today that “some information [about the Lance Armstrong case] will come out of the current inquiries that will be equally as significant as BALCO.”

Today’s food journal:

Breakfast:
— Whole wheat english muffin = 2 points
— 1 tbsp peanut butter = 2 points
— 1 banana = 1.5 points

Lunch:
— PB&J on whole wheat = 3 points
— 1 pkg multigrain Sun Chips = 4 points
— 1 cup cantalope = 1 point
— Iced tea = 0 points
— Weight Watchers bite-size brownie = 1 point

Dinner:
— 1/2 cup pasta with olive oil, garlic = 3.5 points

Snack:
— Skinny Cow ice cream bar = 2 points

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.





Day 281: Photography and cycling: VeloDramatic.com

11 10 2010

“Photography as a fad is well-nigh on its last legs, thanks primarily to the bicycle craze.” — Alfred Stieglitz (1897)

As both a photographer and a cyclist, I couldn’t help but be amused when I read this quote recently in a photography magazines I received in the mail last week. When I started this blog, I intended it to be a combination of my two favorite pastimes: photography and cycling. However, I think it’s ended up being more about the cycling (although I do include photos occasionally too). I’ve had a photography Web site/photoblog for several years (mylifeinfocus.net) to share my photos of various subjects. I’m working on redesigning that site and hope to launch the new version early next year, if not sooner. Maintaining two blogs (particularly this one with the 365-day commitment) has become more time-consuming than I expected.

While poking around the web a while ago, I came across VeloDramatic Cycling Photography, a site out of San Jose, California. I have no idea who runs the site or how many photographers they have (or if it’s just one person). This page gives you an idea of the number of images, workflow and archival process behind the site. VeloDramatic features a blog, an amazing portfolio of beautiful photographs (all cycling related) and a 2009 VeloDramatic Photography Annual hardcover book available for sale on the site. If you’re not familiar with the site, be sure to check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

Today’s food journal:

Breakfast:
— Organic LF vanilla yogurt with 1/2 cup granola = 5 points
— 1 banana = 1.5 points

Lunch:
— Spinach salad with Light Lime dressing, apple, veggie chicken patty = 6 points
— Weight Watchers bite-size chocolate creme cake = 1 point
— Iced tea = 0 points

Dinner:
— Grilled chicken breast = 3 points
— 1 cup couscous = 3 points
— Spinach salad with strawberries, raspberry dressing = 2.5 (est.)
— Iced tea = 0 points

Snack:
— Skinny Cow ice cream bar = 2 points

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.





Day 274: Miscellaneous news

4 10 2010

Some miscellaneous things I read online today that I thought were interesting:

Sounds like Alberto Contador has quite a bit of explaining to do.

***

A new study shows the sequence of food items affects the calorie count estimate. The study, by Northwestern University’s Alexander Chernev, has found that if you see a food item considered “bad for you” after seeing a “good for you” item, most people estimate the calories in it as being much higher than if two “bad for you” items are seen back to back.

***

Instructables.com offers instructions on how to create a USB bike generator to power your devices with pedal power.

***

Today’s food journal:

Breakfast:
— Whole wheat english muffin = 2 points
— 1 tbsp peanut butter = 2 points
— 1 banana = 1.5 points

Lunch:
— Spinach salad = 0 points
— Veggie chicken patty = 3 points
— 1 apple = 1.5 points
— Light Lime salad dressing = 2 points
— Iced tea = 0 points

Snack:
— 1 apple = 1.5 points
— Weight Watchers brownie = 2 points

Dinner:
— Grilled chicken sandwich = 4.5 points
— Homemade potato salad (1 cup) = 8 points
— Iced tea = 0 point

Snack:
— Skinny Cow ice cream bar = 2 points

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( ) 

Thanks for visiting.





Day 270: Alberto Contador’s Tainted Meat and Donuts in Hell

30 09 2010

So it was a big day in the cycling world today! Alberto Contador admitted to testing positive for a steroid called clenbuterol during the Tour de France in July. Obviously this is a huge story and has been covered by many different media outlets today: CNN, USA Today and Sportsscientists.com were just a few that I read today. Here’s a quote from the CNN article:

“It is a food contamination case of which I am the victim.” He [Contador] added that the test result was due to bad meat he and several other riders had eaten the day before the test.

“When they confirmed to me what had happened the first thing I did was ask the UCI which of my fellow riders had passed the test.

“They said the only one who passed the control … was Alexandre Vinokourov. [He was the only one of the riders] who did not eat the meat on that day.”

I also saw on BikePure’s Twitter feed that a RadioShack rider, Fuyu Li, also tested positive for clenbuterol. It was unclear whether or not he also ate the “tainted meat” that the others claim is the reason for the positive sample. In addition, this USA Today article describes the grand jury testimony by physiologist Allen Lim in the Lance Armstrong investigation.

I expect that the professional cyclists in the Tour who participate in doping, far outnumber those who don’t, but does it make it right? No. And it’s sad to think that cheating is so inherent to most sports now that no one seems to really care anymore. Pro baseball players fail a drug test and they get slapped on the wrist. NFL players, same thing. It doesn’t really matter what sport. It’s just disappointing to know that the majority of them cheat.

I’m looking forward to finding out more information on the results of the UCI’s investigation into Contador.

In other news, it was weigh-in day at Weight Watchers today. I lost .8 pounds, which isn’t much, but it’s better than last week’s 2.4-pound gain. The past two weeks I’ve been frustrated and unmotivated. Actually, I’m rather tired of counting points and keeping track of everything I eat. But I’ve done a lot better cutting out candy and sweets. Now I need to work on doing the same with bread and carbs. Mmmm, bread! Reminds me of this scene from the Simpsons:

Who knew they serve donuts in Hell?! 🙂

Today’s food journal:

Breakfast:
— Whole wheat bagel thin = 1 point
— 1 Tbsp peanut butter = 2 points
— 1 banana = 1.5 points

Lunch:
— Grilled cheese sandwich on whole wheat = 7.5 points
— Iced tea = 0 points

Snack:
— Apple = 1.5 points

Dinner:
— Soft pretzel = 10 points
— Iced tea = 0 points

Snack:
— Skinny Cow ice cream bar = 2 points

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( ) 

Thanks for visiting.





Day 240: R.I.P. Laurent Fignon

31 08 2010

Two-time Tour de France winner, Laurent Fignon, died today of cancer. He was 50. Rest in peace, Laurent.

Today’s food journal:

Breakfast:
— Chocolate, peanut butter, banana smoothie = 5.5 points

Lunch:
— Weight Watchers Smart Ones cheese pizza = 7 points
— Diet ginger ale = 0 points

Dinner:
Weight Watchers oven-fried paprika chicken (Yes! I actually cooked! And it was very tasty.) = 4 points
— Water = 0 points

Snacks:
— Small banana with 1 Tbsp peanut butter (prior to workout) = 3.5 points
— WW fudge brownie = 3 points

Exercise:
— 1 hour interval workout on stationary trainer (Sufferfest video) = +7 points

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

          _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.