Racing Heated for Vitesse

Yesterday's training ride provided more carnage than the siege of Stalingrad. With a temperature hovering at 30 degrees and the dry mistral winds blowing the remaining moisture out of the riders, Lampo Bianco, K2nees and h20 suffered greatly. K2nees pleaded for a moratorium on attacks. Sadly no one was listening. On the first downhill sprint, h20 spotted K2 750 meters before turning on the jets and performing a heavy drop to take the first crucial downhill sprint points. h20 immediately paid for his glory as the road tilted upward at a 15% gradient. The pace picked up when a wolf-shitzu cross sprinted out of nowhere to nip at the tyres of the cyclists.
Lampo Bianco had spent the previous evening ensuring that his brother's stag went smoothly. This included close examination of special parts augmentation under the influence of liquid refreshment and guidance of Johan. With the wind at their backs, h20 provided the perfect leadout for LB who engaged in a low airburst and blew by the complacent and unsuspecting K2. Always up for a challenge, K2's subsequent recovery and infernal pedalling style left his team mates sucking locusts and wind on the next 10% hill.
It was soon obvious that LB's low airburst and alcoholic alchemy had taken its toll. He contented himself with watching wheels as he was pulled across the hot dry plains. Even the youthful legs of K2 suffered under the intense heat and unforgiving wind as he gathered all the King of the Mountain points.
Half hearted attacks lasting 6 or 8 pedal strokes were mounted by h20 whenever he caught up to the peloton. The power could not be sustained but h20's pride made him contest every chance to pad his insurmountable downhill sprint point lead.

The injury report reveals that K2 received a low flying locust strike to the groin area. LB's strange blood chemistry has no known precedence in medical science. h20 has yet to get his heart rate below 170 bpm. Johan would be proud.


Johan the Omniscient Sighted

No trip to Southern Alberta would be complete without a stop in Hanna for lunch. That is where h20 and PE5GW found themselves last Friday. Buildings are clearly identified even when they are completely abandoned.
As the pair snacked on cold left over pizza, a strange figure cycled past in the 29 degree heat. An alacrity with the camera and quick thinking ensured that an image was captured. Clearly a man in a winter coat looking straight into the camera. Could it be that h20 inadvertently caught Johan the Omniscient in one of his many disguises in a rural town of 3,000 inhabitants?


SMEVEC 88 Triumphant in Holland!

The following is a dispatch from Night Train a Team Vitesse member headquartered in London:
Night Train and The Bear are back from their training session for Team Vitesse in Holland having ridden the roads that will be used by the Vuelta. Sadly they were not wearing the lovely green Vitesse jerseys, because they don't have them, but were supported by the team in every other way. They did rides between 30 and 100 k and discovered that riding a dead straight flat road into the wind requires endless re-calibration of the Happy Lucky SMEVEC 88. They also discovered that ice cream is excellent cycling fuel, and that the Dutch have an interesting twist on the game of "chicken" involving two pairs of riders approaching from opposite directions. Yikes, who will pull back??? Such excitement!
The intrepid duo made it from London to Amsterdam, via Gent and Antwerp, bike, train, boat, bike train. The resulting boat-lag required a couple of rest days in Amsterdam with friends, riding to Haarlem and Leiden, and then up to Den Helder. The idea was to island hop from there: Texel, Ameland, Terschelling, and back to the mainland. The SMEVEC 88 indicated that this route is entirely possible. It is possible to get to Texel, but that's it until Tuesday. They rode all around Texel where examples of wondrous Dutch engineering were plainly evident. Total bizarre paving of the seaside was bizarre but apparently necessary. Also sighted were plentiful gorgeous dunes. Once the realization that the SMEVEC 88 had led them down a garden path, they cycled back down the coast of North Holland the next day. There were gorgeous dunes (again) with endless brick cycle paths, and beautiful woods with crushed shell trails. The woods were welcome as it was around 30 degrees and the wind was against them. (No doubt they probably rued their decision to leave the Prosperous Contented Obstruction Blocking at home. ed).

Rest assured that this Dutch ride was monitored by Johan the Omniscient in that creepy way he has.


My Asthma has Restorative Properties

News of Team Vitesse's training route has leaked to the population like the cloying miasma from the dump through which it passes. Mini pelotons comprising riders such as backpack guy on an old Gitane, a mom training for a triathlon on a tricked out LeMond with her obese son catching draft on his CCM MTB, and mountain bike touring guy picking bottles can be expected to share the road and the air.
The usual pungent odor is somehow charming and reassuring. A potpourri from a garbage truck parking lot, an animal feed plant next door to an abattoir mixed with a dash of oil refinery burn off is a curious wonder. Perhaps the sinuses can been scorched to the point where any smell is welcome. A feeling of general well being can be expected to descend on such a ride due in large part to warm weather, minimal wind, the ripe atmospheric conditions and plentiful insects for swallowing.
Please note that all miasmas and any resulting feeling of well being are licensed property of Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory and can only be accessed by tapping out an infernal rhythm.


Subtleties in Leadout Acronyms

TV (Team Vitesse) spends an inordinate amount of effort honing their skills for leadouts. Johan insists that the riders maximize the BIDE (basic identity data element) before any HED (Heavy Effort Drop). This is particularly crucial when DSP (downhill sprint points) are available. Once the PADS (Position Azimuth Determining System) has been engaged, the information is passed along via the SECOMP (Secure en route Communication Package). The riders then organize a line out with the last rider having been designated as the PLOW (Probable Logistical Outstanding Winner) and eventual recipient of the DSP. Johan is never satisfied until a SAFE (Selected Area For Evasion) BIDE (basic identity data element) has been NITEE (Neutralized Into The Everloving Earth).


Security Concerns Plague Cosmodrome

Poor planning and lack of funding are the causes for a paucity of security at the Western Cosmodrome. So says Lampo Bianco, self styled security expert and co-founder of Team Vitesse. "There must be retinal scanners, finger or palm print readers, and/or a full body cavity search before accessing any Weapons Room". Local officials, stunned by LB's unannounced visit and this terse even withering criticism, could only mumble platitudes and grovel in the presence of Hat Model who came along for the inspection. LB continued, "what you want here is a good old fashioned Victorian style growlery. Someplace where the men can go to smoke cigars, drink beer and fix bikes. A man cave if you will."
h20, the highest ranking official at the Western Cosmodrome, immediately began the interview process for a larger dog. In conjunction with an increased animal security, 24 hour surveillance will be provided by Happy Lucky 88's state of the art equiment currently being tested by the Pope.


Vitesseland - Geography, Culture, Lifestyle

Now that the Land of Vitesse or Vitesseland has received a wild card invitation to the World Cycling Championships in Switzerland, the insatiable media spotlight shines on this curious land. According to Wikipedia, Vitesse is a football club based in Arnhem, Netherlands. But this is only part of the wonderful story of Vitesseland...
This small semi-mountainous area in the Northern Hemisphere takes its name from the French word for speed. Many of its picturesque roads are paved thanks to the benevolence of Johan the Omniscient. Under his tutelage, great cyclists are molded and formed in a pure cycling culture. With an increasing population of coffee drinkers, Vitesseland has become a vibrant land of peaks and valleys. Its mostly temperate climate encourages a fast easy going lifestyle. For more information visit Vitesseland.com.


Team Ride ends in Acronyms

Recently Team Vitesse founding members, Lampo Bianco and h20, began tapering their training schedule for the Vuelta and world championships. Surprisingly, Team Vitesse received invitations to both events. The team will contest the worlds under the flag of "Land of Vitesse" or "Vitesseland" as it is more commonly known.
The wind played a factor in the team maneuvers. Against Johan's orders, both riders decided to leave their Prosperous Contented Obstruction Blocking at HQ.
As the team turned into the teeth of the wind, h20 launched one of his patented HDs (heavy drop). This delivery of heavy effort left LB dazed and confused. Regaining his composure, LB's HA (high airburst), caught h20 completely off guard. No one expects a burst of nuclear weapon size damage barely 10 minutes into a ride. Needless to say there were no gauntlets left to be thrown after the intense early action. From that point on both LB and h20 carefully monitored each other and the terrain for a SAFE (selected area for evasion).
Johan the Omniscient ordered a HALO (high altitude low-opening parachute technique used by the military to deliver equipment and supplies from airlift aircraft flying above the threat umbrella). A small HALO team made up of podium girls transferred the Prosperous Contented Obstruction Blocking to LB and h20.
Having agreed to call the hostilities a stalemate, the riders returned to TAMCO (theatre army movement control centre) also called the team Winnibago, for hot chocolate.


Storm buffets K2nees

What follows is a harrowing cycling experience authored by K2nees:
I ventured out during the brief sunny period this past evening hoping to refine my skills and avoid any further nature break escapes. Under sunny optimistic skies I set out for the now fabled "tour de dump". After weeks of training, I tapped out an infernal rhythm for myself according to the on board SMEVEC 88T.
As I headed out of town the skies grew darker punctuated by lightening flashes. Well shy of the half way turn around point, the first rain drops were felt through my plycra and the decision was made to abort the launch. Shortly thereafter the heavens unleashed their fury and hail-like drops of rain lashed the route. I quickly installed the Super Absorbent Rain Cape as instructed by Johan over race radio. My infernal tapping then led me back into the moving weather cell. As the absorption coefficient of my HL88 plywood products reached their highest saturation levels, I knew that the time had come to go hard. I time trialed my way back into the city using all the technology Happy Lucky 88 had to offer. The sun broke through leaving me to contemplate important questions like "Is titanium a lightning conductor (answer: probably)" and "Do these soaked Sidi shoes make my butt look fat? (answer: probably)".
After the one hour ride from hell a lesson had been learned. "if it looks like rain stay home on the couch and let the titanium bicycles glow in the corner." I beleive it was a good measure of my increasing fitness for cyclo-cross season and an excellent test of HL88 products.

One lingering question remains..."Does Team Vitesse have a team meteorologist or at the very least a team metallurgist?"
Editor's note: Indeed Team Vitesse does have a metallugist. It is PE5GW who doubles as team ornithologist.


Attack on Nature - A Rebuttal

After reading yesterday's triumphant posting by h20 and his winning attack, K2nees wishes to publish his version of events...

H2O, overripe veteran and sneaky weasel, wisely waited for a K2nees nature break to attack. K2nees was reported as saying, in the heat of his drainage operation,”I just lead him out for the downhill sprint points and pulled him through the wind, why, why would he do that, I thought we were teammates”. Apparently they are the team mates of the Armstrong / Contador variety.
Following H20’s initial attack, K2nees slowly finished his business and tried to catch back on the slight rise, however the next downhill greatly benefited H20’s gravity assisted riding style. After coming to within 10 bike lengths K2nees was again put on the defensive by another highly suspect maneuver. Darting in front of some vehicular traffic K2nees was forced to wait and watch helplessly while H20's gap grew again. After resuming the chase it wasn’t long before K2nees was in h20's ample slip stream (for the first time that ride). After catching back on negotiating a hill, K2nees was ready to put in another attack but seeing the pain the eyes of his team mate after his short escape he dutifully pulled H20 back to the Team Vitesse support vehicle while offering words of support to his gassed team mate.
In honour of his yellow bellied action Team Vitesse will be awarding H2O a new piece of clothing to go with his downhill sprint jersey, the “brown bib shorts of disgust”, for most annoying rider. Unlike the other jerseys awarded on the podium, readers wishing to watch this clothing presentation are asked to meet the janitor behind the porta-potties.


Pro Peloton Tactics

H20, seasoned veteran and superb tactician, has developed some mid season form. On yesterday's training ride with the young up and comer, K2nees, h20 showed his strategic know how with a stunning example, catching the young whippersnapper unawares.
The peloton has long agreed that attacking during a nature break is unsportsmanlike and rude. Never one to shy away from controversy, h20 did just that while K2 stopped to adjust his fluid levels. h20 immediately got a gap and went into time trial mode on one of his patented downhill sprints. K2 barely had time to adjust his package when he was forced into serious pursuit. h20's impeccable timing allowed him to extend his monstrous attack. He was able to turn west before some vehicular traffic which delayed the now desperate K2nees.
h20, not wanting to break his young teammate's spirit, eased up to allow K2 back on his wheel.
A couple of valuable lessons were learned. Never stop for a nature break and never trust a teammate.


Stem Research

Has anyone besides Lampo Bianco and h20 of Team Vitesse had difficulty with bike fit this racing season? It seems that after a winter of discontent and riding the rollers, none of the weapons in h20's arsenal fit properly this summer. h20 has been blackballed by butt pain and digit disturbances. Changing stems, handle bars, saddles, adjusting seat height, and general whining have been the order of the day. He is still not completely satisfied with the changes effected. h20 now searches for physiological or pharmacological reasons for the sudden riding discomfort. It is difficult to imagine that his incredible wing span increased over the last 6 months (although he did carry a lot of boxes during the move to the western cosmodrome). In Lampo's case, a change of saddle has caused endless delays as the peloton waits for him to make minuscule adjustments measurable only with a micrometer. This year his old saddle began causing anguish and agony in the area.
More Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory research into stem length is required. Remember to keep all packaging in case the items need to be returned.


The Pain Cave

Much was made of the so called Pain Cave by network commentators during the Tour de France. Located at the corner of Agony Avenue and Spasm Street in the World of Hurt, the Pain Cave is open to all visitors 24/7. It is definitely not the exclusive domain of professional cyclists although a few industrious pros have installed some decidedly uncomfortable seating there.
The origin of the Pain Cave can be traced back to Australopithicus, that monkey-man you sometimes see at the mall. Historians guess with uncertainty that Australopithicus probably spent most of his or her days in the Pain Cave.
Fast forward to the modern era and we find that cyclists visit the Pain Cave regularly; often after extreme effort on difficult mountain stages. We can surmise from this example of Jan's anguished face and fetching headgear that he has entered the World of Hurt and is looking for the entrance to the Pain Cave.
It is generally agreed that no one spent more time in the Pain Cave both on and off the bike than Marco Pantani. He finally escaped on February 14, 2004.
Team Vitesse drops in to the Pain Cave regularly just to get in touch with their inner cramps, cricks, distress, stabbing soreness, torment, torture and throbbing. Short visits are highly recommended by Johan and Ignats Konovalovas, a giant among cyclists, who got paid a pile of money to say, "When you want more pain you are good".


Peloton Jersey Insight

A highly sought after, but little known accolade of the peloton is the King of the Downhill Sprint jersey. This coveted sporting triumph has never been off the shoulders of h20 for as long as the jersey has been contested. Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory sponsors the distinctive plycra jersey made of a rayon/dacron/nylon/macrolon/duralon/come-a-lon/plycron mix. Just before dropping the hammer on one of his patented attacks at the start of a downhill section, h20 declares, "may you drown in a sea of effluent of my choosing." Everyone now accepts that once his big power plant begins to roar, there is no hope of catching the Hammer of Holland before the next uphill section.
Johan is quoted, "for some reason he defends the KODS jersey and its honour with pride and terminal velocity at every downhill opportunity."