Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Kicking Off The Week: Tour de France Cheers & Jeers, The Heat, Cutting the Cable, And Flat Tires

Graham Watson photo

Yes, it is the beginning of another week here in Southern California.  The Tour de France is well under way, it is hot as a witch’s tit in a brass bra, I cut the cable television (TV) service off, and I had two flats on a ride yesterday.  Hey, what a way to start the week. 

Le Tour

First off, while the Tour is as unpredictable as it is overly long, there comes with it the customary cheers and jeers.  An unexpected cheer was Radioshack-Leopard-Trek’s Jan Bakelants’ earning the Yellow Jersey on Stage 2, and keeping it alive for another day.  Another cheer was watching Peter Sagan putting on the Green Jersey (which he will carry all the way to Paris).  Field sprint, up-hill, down-hill, there is no stopping this man.  And just when you think it cannot get any better, he has completely stomped media favorite Mark Cavendish so far on time, placement in the General Classification (GC), and ability to actually ride all stages of a Grand Tour, plus managing to actually place himself in position to win stages.  While the Manxman may have more outright Tour stage wins, he needs a flat course, and an army of lead-out people to even have a hope of winning.  Mr. Sagan just has so much more depth as a rider, and he is young and just getting started.  Expect great things from the Slovakian.

And now for a very unexpected cheer for a rider not usually worthy.  I give a big attaboy to the aforementioned Mark Cavendish for having the balls to try new things in competition, in particular, his decision to use SRAM hydraulic rim brakes for the 2013 Tour.  When the peloton finds out how good hydraulics are, the next no-brainer, disc brakes, will not be too far behind.

The jeers part of the week was watching Peter Sagan narrowly missing a Stage 3 win (next time, don’t do your throw so early, Peter), and not just that, but whom he lost to – That Pansy of the Peleton: Simon Gerrans.  Yes, this is the same little girl that wheel-sucked Spartacus to a Milan-San Remo “Win” in 2012, and then had the nerve to claim he earned it.

And now even more bad news: Orica-Greenedge won the Stage 4 Team Time Trial (TTT), and now Missy is wearing the Yellow Jersey.  Orica must have hired Team Sky’s doctor.  Nuff’ said.

Did I not write in an earlier article about the stupidity if TT’s in a stage race? 

The Heat

There is a reason I hate high pressure weather systems.  They suck!  And not just sucking in a clockwise direction (Northern Hemisphere), but here in Southern California, it means high-heat for extended periods of time.  And the result – We have had record temperatures here, and a gift from Mexico thrown in for good measure – High humidity.

When I was a kid summer time was the best time of the year.  School was out, and from sun up to sundown, I was out playing.  Not anymore.  Heat and their associated high pressure systems suck.  I hate them.  Gee, did I mention that, already?

Cutting The Cable

It is bad enough that the viewing public has to suffer through absolutely bad television programming, but to have to actually pay for cable access should be considered a crime.  I mean, when shitty programming is not on, there are commercials.  Lots and lots of commercials.  There was a time when three, maybe four, commercials interrupted our favorite TV programs.  Now that number is up to ten and counting.  And remember: We are paying for the product they are selling, and they are getting revenue from advertisers, too.  Talk about double-dipping!  

As for the crappy programming, since when did the “Reality Show” take over the tube?  When I tune to the Weather Channel, History Channel, and even the Discovery Channel, I want weather, history, and to actually discover something beyond a stupid reality show.  I don’t care who lives in a swamp, I don’t care for mountain men, gators, backyard oil, gold mining, and I don’t care how many wicked tuna’s some bonehead catches.  And, don’t even get me started on the “The Real Housewives From Hell,” or “Top Chef,” or “Cupcake Wars.”  Whatever happened to real stories, written by intelligent people, for intelligent people? 
Not to be outdone, we have “Speed.” Formally known as Speed Channel, this piece of crap masquerading as a “Racing Channel” is a complete joke.  In the old days one could tune in twenty-four hours a day and see a race of some kind, be it cars, motorcycles, airplanes, and even boats.  Now it is all reality shows.  I even wrote to the corporate headquarters and told them how much they sucked, and that their new motto ought to be” Speed – We don’t show racing. We talk about it.”  They wrote me back thanking me for being a viewer and gave me a t-shirt.  What clueless dicks, they are.

My only regret about cutting the cable was doing so at the beginning of Le Tour.  However, that is what the internet is for.   

Oh, and, a word to the wise: Avoid Time Warner Cable at all costs.  Because if you don’t, it will indeed cost you lots and lots of money.

Flat Tires

The roads we ride upon suck enough as it is, but must it also be a minefield of debris just seeking to destroy our tires and tubes when we ride?  I mean, it is bad enough to puncture the tires on our motor vehicles, but must we also suffer the indignities of flat bicycle tires, too?  While recently on one of my regular workout rides I suffered two flats.  And, the first one was not your run-of-the-mill flat, either.  Something completely slashed the tread and sidewall of my rear Michelin Pro 3 and ate the tube, as well.  Whatever got my second tube (I always carry two) I never saw, either.

What the public must deal with is a complete lack of responsibility from government agencies from Cities, to Counties, to the State level. First, the pavement conditions are atrocious.  There are Roman built roads thousands of years old which are still in better condition.  Also, do not any of these afore mentioned levels of government own a friggin’ street sweeper?  I can ride a host of roads for months on end and recognize the same debris week after week, month after month.  And yes, I stop to pick up the one’s I see, but as well all know – It is the one’s you don’t see that flatten your tires. 

With all of the money we pay in taxes, you would at least think that government workers would do what they are paid to do.  Tax money goes in, yet services and responsibilities are not fulfilled.  However, they get paid and receive great medical plans and pension, too.

Where can I get a government job?

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