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« Stage Thirteen - Seen It | Main | Stage Fourteen - Seen It »

July 21, 2007





Thank you for the Danish Pastry. Yum yum, great with strong coffee. How the heck did you find it? Debi....were you a good gurl and responsible for this visual treat? Did you send it to our fearless (and hopelessly optomistic/gotta love it) leader?

Before the guys in our group rise up and cry foul, here is a good example of where advertising and art can meet. Although it's clear that the point is to titillate for the purpose of selling the product, am I self justifying in suggesting that it is not the same as posing just for posing? Would it be different if it were a woman? No, and yes, 'exploiting' those in power is not the same as those who are not. But perhaps I resurrect a sore point and will cease.

He suuuuure is cute!



I have a high regard for MD’s core condition. He is in superb condition, and deserves credit for the hard work that allowed him to stay in such condition. An attempt to ride 122 miles with 12-14,000 ft of climbing is insane, arrogant, or supremely confident of one’s capabilities. Anything I say from here onward must always return to the first two sentences (sort of like the chorus line)

I have some concerns about MD’s approach to L’Etape and the message he sends to others. Let me start by saying that a ride like L’Etape can kill you, in spite of the SAG wagons, etc.

1) MD abhors “stunts”, yet this was one of the biggest stunts I can imagine (as a bike rider). My recollection is that he got conned into riding L’Etape at a dinner party! What was he thinking? Oooo, a chance to accomplish a physical test that means a great deal to me? Or was it, I’ll show them that I’M the big stud here? He doesn’t really like riding, or else he would have found time to ride more than 50 miles as his longest ride. Stunt, MD. (chorus)

2) Bike(s) available for training and event were both high end, especially the Cervelo. Yes, it matters that much. It changes how you ride, how you feel, everything. Not many people can afford such equipment. (chorus)

3) MD sets a dangerous example for others who contemplate similar rides. Oh, he ran, and he biked for some weeks. Maybe I don’t need to train so hard either, one thinks. (chorus)

4) Let’s talk about the “kill you” thing. a) You get so exhausted that your judgment goes to hell. Hello, MD? 60 MPH down that hill and you aren’t a bike expert? b) Hyponatremia (extreme depletion of body salts due to over-hydration), as you well know, can be fatal. It is easy to not put the right things into your body during such a grueling event. (chorus)

5) MD talked nothing about the weather. Hot, cold, wet, or hail changes the complexion of the ride. In SoCal, we suffer with heat, leading to heat stoke. If you don’t take care, you get nauseas, dehydrated, and worse.

MD is an amazing athlete, but I fear that people will think they can “Just Do It” without superb conditioning and training.

He sort of got me cranked up because we almost lost a very experienced Club rider on Death Ride (15000 ft and 129 miles) last weekend due to hyponatremia.


Ahhh echo my sentiments! Now take MY OPINION for what it's worth...considering I have NEVER done a ride like that, and probably never will. Various reasons...first and foremost is that my body won't let can take that as an excuse or whatever..suffice it to say that I had a fairly serious softball accident at 20yrs old (took out a BIG guy at 1st base...landed sitting down, HE landed ON TOP OF MY HEAD...crushing my head face into my chest...literally, if I had ink on my face, there would have been an upside down print of my face on my chest...if I had been much older it prob would have killed me)...anyways, I have been fighting the issues from that for the last 26 years and even 5 hours on the bike my neck hurts greatly! OK...enough on that..heres my real thoughts on MD's ride. 1st: I'm very curious how he did such a fast time. I know Greg and Paul trained like fiends last year for their death ride...Greg went out on his own many weekends and rode 'training rides' of 10 laps of a 1000' climb...taking 5 or 6 hours I believe (sorry to be speaking for Greg...but he is very shy to post here). It was his (and Paul's) training rides that led me to the conclusion that I won't be attempting a ride like that. I just plain can't sit on a bike long enough to do such a thing, even though I KNOW that other than my neck I'm physically capable of the feat. MD admitted to WALKING up some of the climbs....I KNOW that Greg and Paul (and the mighty PEZ who rode with them) did no such thing....yet with all their training, and bike years of experience, they only managed to do 13 hours. (Death ride is farther and more climbing, but not by much). I just think that 2 and 2 don't equal 4 here...and maybe MD is a pure freak of be able to do minimal training on a bike (and not even being a bike rider to start with) yet doing 11:32 or whatever it reportedly was, even with walking sections. As Paul says, talk about a STUNT! And going downhill at 60mph? Sorry, but I would have to see that to believe it. Thats pretty damn, REALLY REALLY damn fast! And REALLY REALLY damn dangerous! I hit 45 on my road bike and I tell you, that is FAST! (admittedly I'm a bit of a chicken on the would have to be pretty perfect conditions for me to approach NO fact, NO wind at all!) and perfect pavement. No idea what the course was like over there...but for a self-admited amateur to hit 60mph on a road bike is like me doing a cliff dive in down in Mexico..a recipe for an obituary. I was amazed to read the times MD and his Active fellows did...amazed and did they do such times? A guy I DO ride with (VERY STRONG) just did this years death ride...12 hours. And this man is a freak! He commutes on his bike nearly daily, thru wind, rain, cold...probably puts in at least 200 miles a week. This man (much Like Greg) can ride all day long at a fairly strong pace! I can only think the conditions MD and his crew faced were pretty optimum, for him to beat these people that I KNOW. (and I can assure you that my friend Gary DID NOT WALK ANY SECTIONS!) What does all this mean? I have no idea...but my hats off to MD on the one hand, as he seems to accomplished a feat that I will never contest...with what I personally would consider a very good time! But on the other hand, with his limited training/bike experience, I am mystified as to how he did it. Woofdawg, you have done the Deathride...and are in SERIOUS training right now...your thoughts on this? I'd LOVE to hear them!


Matt and Paul, thanks for telling us all this stuff. I didn't have any idea that MD's finishing time that day was so amazing, especially after someone made light of it early on that he was in 4000th something place of 4500 or so. I knew that about half of the starters dropped out but didn't know it was that great of a time.

About whether he's "a freak" or not... all I know is that if he were tested he might have some smidgeon of the type of lung capacity that Lance did, (of course I can't remember what they call it, but all you fellow Lance-acolytes (wink wink) know what I'm talking about... remember Marty barely missed qualifying for the Olympic trials, right? And even after "blowing up" at 17 miles in New York, he was able to finish in 3:35ish(I've forgotten his exact time by now of course), and that's not TOO far past Lance's marathon time really. I'm just trying to say that I agree with Paul about his base-level fitness, and especially his lung capacity. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if he was exaggerating with an implied wink about the 60 MPH descent. I bet it was closer to 45. He colors things up for a good story sometimes. Not lying, just making a good story, a la the people going swimming, or whatever. He was really hamming it up there talking about wanting a double of EPO, etc.

But still, after hearing you both talk about it, I'm much more impressed than I was!

I wish everyone would hurry and watch today's stage and TALK about it, I'm ready to hear the back and forth!


Paul, I guess I am a coward for not saying what you did. Not the technical stuff, but the death stuff. Afraid of MD thinking me a wuss. I did ask him if her were CRAZY/NUTS/OUTOFHISFRIGGINMIND a while back, and then deferred to his wife's (better) judgment. I thought he could die, especially since he will not give up. And I thought it was a stunt, can't rememeber if I said so some place along the line or not. What I did write, but the erased because it just seemed to mean, was that his performance ranked up there with the Penguin.

What I really appreciate about your comment is the precedent it sets for others. You are abso-tutin-lutly right on! I hope you take your comment and email it to him. It is a cogent, thoughtful and enlightening piece. Thank you.


Janann and I were up Laaaaate last night (sorry I don't mean to appear self centered, I just really felt strongly about this):

"I just watched DZ's last diary. Man he looked dejected. Made me want to cry. He looked so young and sad. How wonderful of him to grant one last interview. I sent him an email through"

"Then I watched Saul Raisin's interview. Inspiring."

"Did anyone watch (also at VeloNews) our original gladiator man, Boonen before stage 12? Some lucky lady flustered him with a kiss."

Posted by: catherine | July 20, 2007 at 11:35 PM

"Cat, we must have been watching those 3 videos at almost the same time! I was just going to make very similar comments here when I read yours (great minds and all). DZ seemed really dejected and apologetic. I'm really bummed that he'll be gone. I think that is the only interview I've ever seen with him where he was completely serious -- not in a good way :( .....and not even any parting "meows"."

"I thought Boonen's look after that lady gave him a kiss on the cheek was pretty cute!"

Posted by: Janann | July 20, 2007 at 11:39 PM

Posted by: catherine | July 20, 2007 at 11:41 PM


*whew* I get all hot and bothered by the Boonen butt shot every time I post. That man has a fiiiine physique!

susie b

Thank-you SO much Paul & Matt! I haven't even had time to read it all as I only had time to write a comment over at MDs about the TT & then try to catch up at work. Just not enough hours in the day!

Who KNOWS what will happen tomorrow! I just WISH certain journos would STOP talking about DOPING that's not even going on at the race & happened months to YEARS ago! That is insane. It HAD to be planned out.

susie b

OH, & the PHOTO!! :) :)

I can't comment. AB "gag" order....

But, thanks Sara!


Okay, first, Cat and Janann, I was watching those videos last night too!! Dave made me just about cry,(AND made me TOTALLY PISSED at what MD said about Dave!). I sent him an email, too. And, he better get to wear his custom shoes for the rest of the season, if he gets to ride(I PRAY, by Sept). Any team; should make a sponser of shoes or whatever else, do custom if it is affecting the health of the rider!! And wherever Dave ends up next year, he should have that extra respect!
Saul's interview was so life affirming! And I ordered his book, right after I saw it; been forgetting, even with Cathy's reminders!!

Re: the Etape ride....I'm totally amazed at the times!! Did any of you read Rob Klinkensmith's blog on riding the stage? His sounds more honest than MD's as he addresses the fear of the descents. I personally am just starting to feel confident going 30 something, down a hill, and if I can't see where the road goes, I start feathering my brakes to slow me down!!! Matt, Paul and Greg(and PEZ), plus our fine Woofdawg, amaze me constantly with their rides.

Now, Tom's picture. What a work of art! And it doesn't matter if it is Tom. I think the picture would be just as powerful with a female cyclist. We are seeing the backside; not the front, with some distance, and the form is just beautiful!! I like that ad, too bad, I already have a really nice Giro helmet!!


Wait. There are helmets in the picture?


LOL! Exactly Amy ;)


Helmets? We don't need no stinkin' helmets.

Aaaawwwwoooooo!!!! Woof.

Dawg gurls, things are lookin' up.


so yes, guilty as charged - i was responsible for the picture. it was in the south african bicycling magazine in november 2005, named "the sex issue"! it had allsorts of articles like '15 ways cycling makes you a better lover', 'the most erotic bike part', 'love to ride, ride to love' and crap like that in it, but best of all, it had that advert for lazer helmets. sadly, it's had the bejesus airbrushed out of it (there's no cycling tan ANYWHERE) but it's still delicious.
BTW, the cover featured a seriously hot chick, minimilistically clad in Fox Shorty cycling shorts with a Giant TCR composite slung over her shoulder!! a few of the puritans wrote in that their wives questioned why they read the bicycling magazine when that one came home, but the normal peeps loved it!

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