Thursday, July 30, 2009

NYC TRI highlight vid

Final installment from the New York City Triathlon, the highlight video. Hope you like it. I am out tomorrow for the sold-out inaugural Calgary 70.3. The only comment I will make about the vid is this: You need to PAY ATTENTION when on the bike. Watch and I think you'll see what I mean. Next update from Alberta.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More Apple

I am furiously (actually the big G5 is) rendering the video from Sunday's main event in the Big Apple. From what I have seen so far, you are gonna like this one. It has it all. Another crash, every conceivable riding infraction known to man, some seriously cool shots of the Henry Hudson Parkway and 3,500 triathletes going after it. Estimate render time is still another 24 hours, so I am shooting for a Thursday evening posting of the highlight video. Thank the Lord this isn't TV! Yet.

Heading out Friday for the Calgary 70.3. Reports from Canada as the host hotel allows free WiFi. I am so cheap. Maybe one day (when we go live perhaps) we'll actually charge for this incredible service and then I won't have to run around Canada looking for free hot spots at midnight to post updates and commentary. Does Twitter do video?

In the meantime here a couple more shots form the NYC Tri.

CompuTrainer athlete, and all-around nice guy, Andy Potts, signing autographs at the Toyota booth.

Wonderful statue on the Fordham campus in Midtown.

Madison Square Garden. Penn Station is underneath.

Trigeeks invade Manhattan. RCVman suggests actually WEARING your helmets, guys.

(You may click on any photo to enlarge)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Not the Biggest

The New York City Triathlon is big. Like they are fond of saying here, "Hey, it's New York.", like that somehow satisfies all questions or comments. It is a race on a grand scale, although 'only' the Olympic distance. I fully plan on providing the VBA with plenty more column inches of commentary once we get home, decompress and start the download. Until then, here are few images from this mornings event.

Not to be outdone, Mellow Johnny did us all proud with a stunning 3rd place finish in this year's TdF. I am very proud of his effort, and when I saw this comment in this mornings Seattle Times, I almost screamed out loud (I was on a train headed for Newark out of Penn Station). This sums it up folks. And I expect every man, woman, child, athlete, longshoreman, librarian, student, dentist, felon, politician (is that a redundant?), sinner and saint withing the reading distance of this blog (go to work VBA) to HEAR WHAT HE JUST SAID!

Because by comparison it makes the NYC Tri look very small. Here is his quote:

"I'm realistic, I did everything I could," Armstrong said before the final stage. "For me, and even more for my kids, it's probably a healthy thing for them to see, because they saw their dad that never lost, and the kids in their class (say) 'your dad never loses,' so it's good for them to see dad get third and still be cool with that and still be happy."

Here is the rest of the story:

That's Big.

Practice, Practice, Practice

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

Same way you get to Kona or Clearwater.
Coach Dave at the CT booth shows off the IM Canada RCV to one of his many greateful clients. And the hallowed halls Andrew built with philanthropy and music appreciation.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bathos, you say?

Alright, now we're on to somethin'! Yesterdays post about my former life as a migrant farm worker, and the subsequent comments, created a whole new opportunity to test some theories, in real time. All we know for sure is that if you enter the HOP at 0530 on Wednesday mornings this summer, YOU WILL PAY A PRICE. You will also get a return on your investment. This we know to be true. Everything else is subject to testing. So I set out after class to visit CompuTrainer HQ in the U-District and decided to take my old fixie. After all, the weather has been superb and I was not feeling like stimulating the local economy during "peak" season. Gimme a break, it was the 10:20 boat and half full. Still the bureaucrats tagged me for $7.70 (with all the lawyers on the Island, there is still a bike SURCHARGE???) If ever there was an appropriate time, place and cause to acronym, this might be it. Yo, WSF: WTF? Regardless, and hour later I was mixing it up with the busy commuters and tourists downtown. Where did all these people come from? At 3rd & Pine (a detour because of construction) a city bus (the 40?) left me with all of 2 inches and as I looked right to gauge ped flow my tire caught the sewer grating and down goes RCVman. Embarrassing. I do a quick little shoulder roll and get the heck out of the street for fear of getting a free ride UNDER the aforementioned number 40. I eventually find my way to Dexter and cruise the bike lane to Fremont where I pick up the BG and sail into HQ, a block off the trail near the U-Village.

Good chats with Ray (sold 38 CTs today), Kurt (see you next week in Calgary) and Chuck (Kona promo is a go) when I start to feel a pain in left side. Immediately I know what it is (been here before) and I know I cracked a rib (or two) on the sordid streets of Seattle. Bathos? A little dose of humor? Try to save gas and not pollute? Get in another little workout? Enjoy the bike friendly Emerald City?

Right. Go ahead and laugh. I can take it.

Phase 126 project as mentioned yesterday. It's a Zen thing.
Proof that all this really happened.
Bridge to another world (Fremont).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Them Apples

As most of you know, RCVman HQ is under construction. Has been for a while now because he insists on doing all the labor hiseff. The jury is out as to why this is, with six saying it's because he is tight, and the others saying it's a Zen thing, and we will never understand, so why try? Regardless of intent, the effort plods along between race assignments, long rides, video projects and runs in the park. In the 'cleaning out the shed' stage of the current studio expansion project (Phase 126), the demo crew discovered this little gem from another time in space.

The year was 1974 and the place was Brewster, Washington. We raised some pretty fair apples at Crane & Crane, where I rose to the exalted rank of tractor driver for the apple, pear and cherry harvests. It was a wonderfully innocent time as well as an important one, connecting dots from a failed baseball career in Southern California to the trek over the big hill and into Seattle a few years later. There came some great stories from this era, a mere 35 years ago. The demo boys (me) found this apple crate in the shed from Crane Orchards, circa 1945 and I gawked at it while the way back machine played myriad images of sun, sweat and beers. I wonder what has become of Francis, Johnny, Leonard, Tim, Phil, The Hulk, Max & Maureen, Sterling Maguire and the Bohemian Tavern.

And speaking of apples, RCVman will be in Manhattan this week for date with the New York City Triathlon on Sunday . The bike leg is along the WestsideHH Parkway, which is closed to traffic, meaning that the only way you will be able to ride this course on the other 364 days is to watch the RCV. Prompting the question:

How do you like them apples?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Chimicum like Orange

We finally got out for our long ride yesterday. It was a beautiful mid-summer day and although we changed the route slightly due to a fresh layer of recently laid chip-seal, six BAC clubbers took it to the streets of Kitsap and Jefferson Counties for an 80 miler. The title reference (if you haven't got it yet) is to Tom Robbins from Another Roadside Attraction where Plucky Purcell finds deep mystery in the fact that there is no word in the English language that rhymes with the word orange. Ditto Chimicum I suspect. BTW, this video clip has already been subtitled: Bernie Bakers Butt (sorry couldn't resist). Here are the metrics as gathered and posted by VBAer FW.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Finish Line

A short clip of he Wheels North gang at the finish line in Seattle yesterday.
Wish I could have captured a little better audio, especially the part where Evelyn is talking live on her daughters cell phone from the hospital, but chaos is sometimes what ensues when you mix wind, bubbly, and a dozen guys who have just finished 1,120 miles in eleven days. More here:

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Your "A" Race is once a year.

All other days, either,


Your goal.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Why We Ride

Some fun stuff I stumbled upon while out of the saddle.

A Zen teacher once asked his students why they rode bicycles. One said he rode to carry potatoes. Another cycled to observe the world. A third said it cleared the mind, and a fourth said cycling put him in harmony with all sentient beings. The Zen master was pleased, but when the fifth replied, “I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle,” the teacher sat at the student’s feet and said, “I am your student.”

Got opinion?

Tyler Soooooo Close

TdF update: Our boy from Wenatchee is getting closer. As shown in this terrific finish line shot, he was a millisecond behind Mark Cavendish at the line in todays stage. Here is a sparkling testimony to his future as penned by Chris Carmichael, who just happens to coach another guy in the Tour. Also, more column inches here in one day from the Wenatchee World than the Seattle Times has given in 11 days. Come on fellas, it's not always about the Seahawks.
The Birth of a Sprinting Duel
By Chris Carmichael

Tyler's getting closer! The young sprinter from Garmin-Slipstream finished second today to Mark Cavendish as the man from Manx won his fourth stage of the 2009 Tour de France, and I think Tyler is learning quickly and will soon find a way to get past Cavendish for a stage win.

Tyler Farrar is one of the only sprinters in the world who has beaten Mark Cavendish in 2009, winning a sprint finish in the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race in Italy. He has the speed and power to challenge Cavendish, and he's both smart and aggressive – two attributes that separate champions from guys who just happen to be fast. Farrar may not have gotten around Cavendish today, but he was closer to victory than he has been in previous stages of this year's race. To me that shows he's learning. He's not content to try the same tactics over and over again, in hopes of getting a different result.

Cavendish is the world's top sprinter right now, and that's a position that doesn't typically last very long. The difference between winning and losing these sprints is very small and to be a dominant sprinter you have to be at your very best. Lose a little bit of your edge, and that's all it takes to go from winning by a bike length and losing by half a wheel. Cavendish could be the dominant sprinter for the next 2-4 years, and he could very well follow in German sprinter Erik Zabel's footsteps. Zabel won the green points jersey six times, but he was only a dominant sprinter for the first few of those years. In the last three years of his green jersey run, he captured the points title by finishing consistently near the front of the sprints, but his stage wins grew few and far between.

Erik Zabel is an advisor to the Columbia-THC team and has been mentoring Mark Cavendish. In my opinion, there's no better person for Cavendish to learn from, especially because Zabel had the experience of going from being a dominant sprinter to a strong finisher who more frequently crossed the line 2nd, 3rd, or 4th. Zabel's long career is an illustration of how a sprinter can continue to be successful even after some young kid comes up and takes over the mantel of being the top sprinter in the world.

Tyler Farrar looks to have what it takes to develop into a dominating sprinter. He's already won some major races in the US and in Europe, he's beating riders who have more experience than he does, and he's showing versatility in the ways he's executing his finishes. Year ago when Mario Cipollini was the dominant sprinter, the way to beat him was to disrupt his leadout train. He liked well-organized finishes as opposed to more chaotic ones where sprinters were keying off each other instead of being led to the final 300 meters by a line of teammates. In contrast, Robbie McEwen earned his place as a dominant sprinter by not having a large and well-organized leadout train. He is/was best in hectic finishes, and his explosive power gave him an edge in uphill sprints. Cavendish appears to be a combination of the two: he definitely likes to have a strong leadout train, but appears to be pretty well versed at finding his way to the front in less structured sprints as well.

For his part, Farrar seems to share a lot in common with Cavendish, in terms of his ability and resourcefulness in sprints; Cavendish is just a little bit faster right now. With sprints, there are so many variables you can't plan for. Yesterday, it appeared that Farrar wanted to go around George Hincapie just as the Columbia-HTC rider finished his pull at the front of the leadout train. But since they were approaching a 90-degree turn, Farrar was forced to go wide in order to avoid a collision with Hincapie (which may very well be why George chose that as the place he would pull off). As a result, Farrar lost a little speed around that corner, went a slightly longer distance, and had to dig deep to get back into the sprint. Similarly, it appeared that Thor Hushovd hesitated as he entered the same corner, because he saw Hincapie and Farrar getting together ahead of him. He backed off to improve his chances of getting through the corner if Farrar or Hincapie crashed in front of him, but that led him to lose a few bike lengths to Mark Cavendish and his final leadout man, Mark Renshaw, and you can't afford to give Columbia a few bike lengths as you head out of a corner in the final kilometer of a race.

Today, Farrar was sitting on Thor Hushovd's wheel as Mark Cavendish began his surge toward the finish. As Hushovd faded, Farrar went around him to the left. Since the finish was just shortly after a right-hand bend, going left added a few meters to his route to the finish line, and possibly cost him the stage win. But keep in mind, in the heat of the moment, a sprinter has to react with split-second timing. It's easy for me to sit here and say he might have won if he had gone right instead of left, but at that moment, seeing the situation as it unfolded, Farrar thought going left was his best option – and at that moment it very well could have been.

Mark Cavendish is fast, but he's not unbeatable. He may have a great team leading him into the finish, but they are not unbeatable either. Cavendish is likely to win a lot of races in the coming years, but I won't be surprised at all to see Tyler Farrar develop into Cavendish's toughest rival. Tour de France stage wins will come to Farrar, and I think he may become US cycling's first legitimate contender for the green jersey.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Earth to Detroit

From our humble backyard (garage actually) comes this fantastic story of BI grad Mark King who (while we were out riding) channeled Henry Ford, Nicola Tesla and Bill Nye to build this ultra-cool electric car. Although I haven't yet watched the doc "Who Killed the Electric Car?", I can toss a fairly accurate dart in the general direction. Earth to Detroit.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday's Ride

Here is some more detail on Sunday's ride from the Bainbridge Athletic Club to Ft. Flagler and back. Super creative from VBAer FW on the route and moniker (BAC 'n Fort) as well as great technology from

0800 start from the club. I need a volunteer for support as the RCVman local guy, RG, is golfing in LA this weekend. Bring the usual stuff; spares, food, jacket, gels, whatever electrolyte beverage you prefer and your smiles.

The CD label (top) is from a new and exciting project for which we are currently preparing a video treatment. If you enjoy riding, yoga, and feel an urgency to make some serious global change (and dare I say a paradigm shift) you will like this one. For those of you that REALLY like to ride you know of what I speak.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Wheels North For All!

My pals who rode fixed from Davis to Boston are getting close. As of this morning they are in Eugene, OR and about to log another century today. They started in Santa Rosa, CA on the the 4th and will finish Thursday at Frosh Pond in the UDub campus. RCVman has been invited to cover the glorious finish to another epic fundraising ride. More on the trip and how you can make a donation to here:

Not to be outdone by the Wheels North boys, we have two rides of somewhat lesser distance (but in the same direction) now "officially" scheduled. They are:

July 19: From BAC to Ft. Worden and back. 0800 start from the club. Lunch on the parade grounds made famous in An Officer and a Gentleman and back. Cross the HC Bridge twice (oh joy). Ride is supported by the intrepid RCVman local staff. Cost: Free.

July 21: Tuesday. Hurricane Ridge RCV shoot. We'll start at the Ranger Station at the base at 1000. It's a two hour uphill grind to the Lodge. If we catch it on a good day, the video is priceless, if not it's still a killer climb, aka Alp d'Angeles. Cost: Free. If anyone is interested I might ride up Monday and stay in a cheap motel, do the ride/shoot and then ride back on Tuesday.

Repondez si'il vous plait.

Photos: From the Wheels North blog, looks like Peter and Doc and some fantastic riding.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Tour Tidbits

A couple of choice tidbits from The Onion. And the last time (thankfully) I will mention PEDs in the same post with reference to the TdF. This is just so (painfully) funny.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Folie a deux

Considering that Sports Illustrated was once a main rival and major competitor, I find it mildly amusing to be linking to them. But this is such a good read, a brief history of the TdF, if you will, that I had to share. But of course. A sample is lifted below for your inducement.

In the States we're not much for shades of gray in our heroes. But in Europe people take their riders as they are: Wan and haggard, "for us." If doctors and drugs can help a fellow human being survive cancer, Europeans dare ask, why shouldn't doctors and drugs help one contest the world's most difficult bike race? As its most dominant rider contests the Tour de France once more, it's worth pondering not just whether we Americans want the truth, but whether we can handle the truth.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Time to Train

This juicy little data bit appeared in today's WSJ:
Interesting turn of events you might say. And speaking of Boston....The last three books completed for some strange reason all shared a common subject. See if you can figure it out!

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. Haruki Murakami.
Chi Running. Danny Dreyer.
Once A Runner. John L. Parker, Jr.

As an editorial footnote, exactly 101 years after the fellas in the above photo ran the first Boston Marathon, I did mine. 3:18:24 if you must know, a mere 23 minutes off that day's winning time of 2:55:10 by John J. McDermott of New York, with the kicker being that the course that fateful spring morning was officially "only" 24.5 miles.

But he probably had a real job and therefore a limited amount of training time.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


You are probably thinking, "Hummmmm, will we get nothing but TdF coverage from RCVman blog over the next three weeks?" Well, as tempting as this is, and as much media as comes out of the tour, we have a larger responsibility to you, the loyal and well rounded VBA. With this in mind, todays post covers a lot of ground, so hang on, here we go:

Robert McNamera is to Donald Rumsfeld what the Dalai Llama is to Bernard Madoff.
If you haven't already, please add The Fog of War to your Netflix queue.

WWGD (What Would Google Do) by Jeff Jarvis continues to amaze and inspire. Gems such as this (page 93): "Beta" is Googles way of never having to say they're sorry. It is also Googles way of saying, "There are mistakes here and so please help us find them and improve the product. Tell us what you want it to be, Thanks." Most established companies would consider releasing unfinished products to market criminal: You can't produce a product that's not perfect-and not even done- or it will hurt the brand, right? Not if you make mistakes well. "Innovation, not instant perfect perfection," was Google VP Marissa Mayer's advice to Stanford students.

Goggle this book and buy it (natch).

The Fourth of July is to Christmas what Wal-Mart is to Costco.

I was asked to take down the Bad Boyz YouTube clip (that had over 2K views in a week and was part of an on-line discussion that garnered another 3K) because it had created a bit of controversy. It asked some hard questions and opened a Pandora's box of debate. It planted seeds however and I continue to feel that posting the truth (as sometimes only video can) will make us better, more attentive and prepared to handle difficult situations, be them in races or in real life. What YOU gonna do?

Speaking of posting the truth, we have a unique opportunity with which I would very much appreciate some feedback. Technology, innovation and circumstance has provided us with opportunity to combine HD video, shot live in the pack on race day, with constantly changing GPS data and interactive software to produce the Real Course Videos. With that as back-story, here is the latest beta-opp: We can go live.

So now, today, we have come full circle. The coverage from the 2009 Tour de France is absolutely amazing, both live and produced. RacerMate Inc. with the release of Ironman Canada has hit the current nadir of the RCV model. What next? We could very easily continue to shoot IM and 70.3 events until they are all available as RCVs or we could innovate, expand, test, try, develop, push. Therefore the question du jour is:

DO YOU SEE VALUE IN AN RCV "LIVE" FEED? And further, would you pay to see an hour, 90 minutes, or 56 miles of actual races, road, tri or simply tours and great rides, broadcast live from the RCVman camera as he searches for truth, justice and the metaphorical Milky Way?


Monday, July 6, 2009

Tyler Farrar

Does anybody out there not know by now that RCVman is based in, and calls the hale and hearty state of Washington RCV Global HQ? No? Well, then let's remove all doubt. I am, he is and we are. That being established along with appropriate pride, please allow me, him, and us to comment on Evergreen State native Tyler Farrar, from Wentachee, on his being the first (I though it was Andy Hempsten, but he was born in Ohio) rider from HERE to compete in the TdF. Dude, you rock and do us all proud. Here is a quick little YouTube (my default source of current info) piece on his stage win in Italy earlier this year. I have spent a lot of time on the Adriatico and got a large charge when the Italian commentator calls him "Ferrari" in the MTV-esque video. This roughly translates from the Italian to, "American dude from Wenatchee with BIG motor."

Our boy is currently 53rd, riding for the Garmin-Slipstream team. More here:

G is for Graphic

Found this amazing piece of multi media today, which I find simply phenomenal. I will make another post later today because there is A TON happening. Some of it is actually newsworthy. Blogworthy to be sure. Three Kings, one Kingdom. Wow.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Le Tour

Here is some excellent web coverage of the opening TT in Monaco. Last year (the good old days) I ran this course during IM week. Seeing the roads and cliffs and spectacular views of the Med, not to mention the enthusiasm of the crowds is very inspiring. We are still working on a plan to meet up with the lads in the Pyranees, wonder what my soul is worth these days? or as the French say, La fin justifie las moyens. Go get 'em Astana.

Watch live video from . on,July-4-2009

Friday, July 3, 2009


On a tip by UK Special Agent Wardy, I am frolicking through Jeff Jarvis' seminal work What Would Google Do? (WWGD) It is mesmerizingly brilliant at every turn of every phrase, and deals eerily with a several issues over which the RCVman brain trust has been in debate. Open source codes. Complete transparency. Beta testing. Risk taking. I can go on. It is a new paradigm setting anchor, mates, and you can embrace it and sail to the new dawn, or, as is eloquently observed in the video clip, hold on to your incumbent comfort zone and go the way of the dinosaur. Let us make mistakes. LOT'S OF 'EM. Thank you JJ. (click to play)

The Deschutes

Sorry about the resolution and size here, but by popular demand, a clip of the Deliverance II re-make has just leaked from the production location site in Central Oregon. Travis has revised the role made famous by Burt Reynolds, Michael does a great Jon Voight and RG does a pretty fair Ned Beatty. Elliott, playing himself, stars in his fourth RCVman film, truly a break-out performance by the young and gifted actor many feel will be heir-apparent  to legendary thespian Brad Pitt. 

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Almost Time!

It's almost that time, folks.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

F is for FAT

VBAer EJ sent this article over earlier today and it has taken me all day to get around to reading it. Please check it out and then decide if we are responsible or if somehow someone else is to blame.

As many of you know by now RCVman is a highly competitive individual. Most of the time he can control it, but as it is hard-wired in his DNA, there are things that, well, just set him off. Like the following list of states with their respective obesity percentages. We (Bow down to Washington) come in at number 33, tied with those Okie cowboys who stole our basketball team, with 29.5 of us being clinically obese (30 lbs or a BMI of 30 or above). This is unacceptable fellow Evergreeners. And I want it changed by the time the next tabulation is compiled. THAT, my friends IS A DIRECT ORDER. Here is the list culled from the article:

1. Mississippi* (44.4%); 2. Arkansas (37.5%); 3. Georgia (37.3%); 4. Kentucky (37.1%) 5. Tennessee (36.5%) 6. Alabama (36.1%); 7. Louisiana (35.9%); 8. West Virginia (35.5%); 9. District of Columbia (35.4%); 10. Illinois (34.9%); 11. Nevada* (34.2%); 12. Alaska (33.9%); 13. South Carolina (33.7%); 14. North Carolina (33.5%); 15. Ohio (33.3%); 16. Delaware (33.2%); 17. Florida (33.1%); 18. New York (32.9%); 19. New Mexico (32.7%) 20. Texas (32.2%) 21. Nebraska (31.5%); 22. Kansas (31.1%); 23. (tie) Missouri (31.0%) and New Jersey (31.0%) and Virginia (31.0%); 26. (tie) Arizona (30.6%) and Michigan (30.6%); 28. California (30.5%); 29. Rhode Island (30.1%); 30. Massachusetts (30.0%) 31. Indiana (29.9%) 32. Pennsylvania (29.7%); 33. (tie) Oklahoma (29.5%) and Washington (29.5%); 35. New Hampshire (29.4%); 36. Maryland (28.8%); 37. Hawaii (28.5%); 38. South Dakota (28.4%); 39. Maine (28.2%); 40. Wisconsin (27.9%); 41. Idaho (27.5%); 42. Colorado (27.2%); 43. Vermont (26.7%); 44. Iowa (26.5%); 45. (tie) Connecticut (25.7%) and North Dakota (25.7%) and Wyoming (25.7%); 48. Montana (25.6%); 49. Oregon (24.3%); 50. (tie) Minnesota (23.1%) and Utah (23.1%)

At least we beat California.