Tag Archives: cycling

MCW Cycling Club Updated

From 2006-2010 I attended the Medical College of Wisconsin. One of the clubs that I started was the CCIG, or Cycling Club Interest Group. I’m now almost 4 years out from graduating from MCW so haven’t really kept up too much with the activities of the club. There’s a ton of great cycling in Southeastern Wisconsin so I hope students continue to utilize the resources on the club’s site, MCW Cycling Club.

I had been hosting a PHP bulletin board, but the hassles of dealing with spam made it difficult to use. I recently transitioned the message board to Google Groups. It is invite only to limit access to current or former students. The message board can be accessed here: MCW Cycling Club Google Group

MCW Cycling Club site

I just updated the MCW Cycling Club site. Previously, it ran completely from my own hosting service. This worked okay, but required a lot of work to add new pages since I was literally doing the HTML coding by hand. My experiences using the WYSIWUG editors are that they add a bunch of code that destroys the readability. Anyway, I was looking for something simple and went ahead with transferring the data to Google Sites. In the past, Google Sites didn’t offer much ability to customize, however, a lot has now changed. After switching the CNAME to point to Google, the switch was seamless. It looks pretty good and will be much easier to update. I can even add collaborators to help me with posting club events and updating the bike routes. This will be tremendous as I will be leaving for a year. The only thing still running on my hosting package is the punBB forum. It would be terrific if there would be a way to host that within Google Sites as well.

Check out the new site: MCW Cycling Club

Twitter: Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel

So I don’t completely understand the idea of letting people know your exact status all the time (primarily because it must take a ton of time to keep it updated), but in this case, the concept is really cool. (Also, to keep your Twitter page, you would most definitely need an iPhone, Blackberry, or another capable phone in order to do the updates when away from the computer.)

From yesterday. Why the 28 in the back is a good idea. on TwitPic

Lance Armstrong and Astana manager Johan Bruyneel are on Twitter! It is a pretty sweet way to stay updated on their training. The photo above was their Twitter page. I look forward to following their updates. Go Lance!

Original Tour de France

As you know, the Tour de France began in 1903 as some sort of wild-hair publicity scheme for the sports daily L’Auto, a paper that eventually evolved into what is now L’Equipe. The race differed remarkably from the one we know and love today. The original Tour could probably best be described as a synthesis of a modern stage race, that exercise in sleep deprivation known as the Race Across America (RAAM) and a mountain bike race, held under original NORBA rules.

Like the Tour, it was a stage race. Like RAAM, the first Tour was an individual sport, with no cooperation between riders allowed. Like an old NORBA race, riders were completely on their own, required to provide their own support and mechanical assistance.

The 1903 Tour de France was 2468 kilometers (editor: 1534 miles), but involved only six stages. These things were monsters, ranging from the shortest ? Stage 4’s 268km (editor: 167 miles) run from Toulouse to Bordeaux ? to the longest, Stage 6 from Nantes to Paris at 471km (editor: 293 miles). (Obviously, the Tour’s tradition of turning the final stage into a victory parade for the overall leader hadn’t yet taken hold.) Instead of one or two formal rest days as we now see, the 1903 Tour’s stages were separated by gaps of several days. The 1903 Tour began in Paris in July 1 and ended in Paris on July 19.

You can see from the finishing times that things must have been quite different than they are today. Frenchman Maurice Garin won the first Tour, with an impressive time of 94 hours, 33 minutes and 14 seconds. Lucien Pothier finished second, two hours and 49 minutes behind the winner. If you think that’s a substantial time gap, keep in mind that there was a whopping 63-hour gap between the first and 20th-place finishers. They’d obviously not come up with the concept of a time cut, either, leaving attrition to make those calls. Indeed, of the 60 starters, only 21 finished.

Continue reading: Velonews | The Explainer – Disqualified!

The Climb of the Angliru

Alberto Contador (Astana) said that the “climbs in the Pyrénées just weren’t steep enough.” He was waiting for the Alto de L´Angliru, the hardest climb of the Vuelta a España. Well, today was the 209.5km stage that featured the Angliru as the ultimate climb. And, Contador attacked as he promised with 5km to go and took the GC lead.

Here’s what Velonews writes about the Angliru:

Angliru the beast
The Angliru isn’t a stand-alone mountain, but rather part of a steep ridgeline running across Asturias, the lush, rainy northern province that straddles Spain’s northern Atlantic Coast.

Beloki suffered on the Angliru in 2002
Photo: Graham Watson
At 12.2km in length, the climb rises 1,248 m (4,090 ft) with an average grade of 10.3 percent.

The opening five kilometers aren’t terribly excessive, with an average grade of 7 percent, hardly anything that will cause the pros lose sleep. There’s even a false-flat at 5.5km that gives a short respite.

It’s the second half of the climb where the Angliru earns its reputation.

At 6.5km, the road narrows and hits its first serious ramp of 21 percent. From there, the average grade never falls before 12 percent to the summit.

The steepest part of the climb is the so-called Cueña les Cabres with about 2km to go. At 23.5 percent, it’s not a switchback but more like straight run up a wall. There’s another 21 percent ramp in the final kilometer before the summit.

“I went to see in early August and it’s very, very hard. It’s one thing to say but it’s something else to climb it. It’s a brutal climb,” said Mosquera. “Like I’ve always said, it’s where you win or lose everything. If you have a half bad day on the Angliru, the minutes can fall off in chunks.”

The climb is so steep that most will ride with 34×28, with critics calling it more of a gimmick than a true road climb.

“It’s a mountain bike climb with road bikes,” said Olympic champion Samuel Sánchez, who’s not racing in the Vuelta but lives near the climb. “I can see the Angliru from my house, but I’ve only climbed it once. It was on a bet when I was 16 and I made it up without touching the ground and I won 50 euros. I haven’t been up it since.”

For Sastre, the Vuelta won’t be decided on the Angliru, but rather on the climbing time trial at Navacerrada on the Vuelta’s penultimate stage.

“I climbed it in 2000, when I won the mountain jersey in the Vuelta. It’s a ‘media’ climb that few have actually climbed on their own. The fans see the ramps so excessive that they cannot help but push the cyclists,” Sastre said. “That year I made a pretty good time even though I remember if you climb out of the saddle the bike starts to slip. And the differences were minimal.”

Leipheimer remains an enigma so far in this Vuelta. He’s publicly vowed to help Contador, but he’s obviously riding to protect his interests. Even if Contador wins the Vuelta, Leipheimer is a very strong candidate to finish on the podium.

“I’ve never climbed the Angliru,” he said. “I don’t even want to think about it.”

MCW Cycling Club

Since no one checks my Scott, Future MD blog since I’ve never updated it, I’d just like to use this opportunity to mention that as my 2nd year of medical school comes to an end, I will be updating it more regularly. The first update will be to discuss the creation of the MCoW Cycling Club Interest Group.