Test Flights begin at WORC

The first test flight since the Western Oceanographic Research Cosmodrome (WORC) opened in August, successfully launched yesterday. Lampo Bianco, much decorated cosmonaut, has begun training for the spring classic season.

His cycling cosmonaut exclusive first hand account is reprinted here:

Took a 20 km flier on the ss (ed.: single speed) yesterday Uphill with a head wind both ways! Seriously, there are loooooong hills around here for a guy who hasn't ridden in so long. The ss gearing is now in question. However, Johan has talked me out of changing anything on the launch vehicle until my legs cease quivering.

Maybe I should just ride more which is what Johan would do. The photo was taken at the private WORC bathing facility down from the cosmodrome. The ocean laboratory lies at the base of the unbelievable grind of an 8 km climb on the inland route to the HL88 psychological test lab. The route back was along the water, more downhill included and a fabulous sunset over the mainland mountains across the strait. No photos were taken since that road suggested imminent death by crazy motorists around blind corners.

Cycling Cosmonaut praises Lampo for his bravery in cycling on a dry day in above zero temperatures and thanks him for the reminder that the Other Cosmodrome is locked in winter's icy grip at minus 28 degrees Celsius.


Auspicious Origins of HL88

From the archives of Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory comes proof that the venerable supplier of bicycle accessories has sponsored the Roman Legions from 85 BC to the present day. During construction of the Pantheon, HL88, then known as Felix Felicis Fortuna LXXXVIII, provided logistical and plywood engineering to the spiritual centre of the Roman empire (click image for enhanced viewing).


Power Training for h2o

Each day h2o makes his way on bicycle through the darkness to Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory's financial headquarters. These forays into to the the meteorological unknown present special challenges. After consulting various weather oracles, h2o changed his front ring to an easier spin in anticipation of an increase in brown sugar snow (BSS) imminent in every forecast. This change was facilitated by the installation of a half link chain for some reason.
These preparations proved to be an excellent choice for the single speed as h2o merrily pounded through field after menacing field of BSS. Of great assistance was the stiff breeze at his back driving the snow and h2o towards his destination. The return trip will present its own challenges as the wind is due to increase to 40 kilometers per hour without any let up in precip. No doubt h2o will draw from his Within Power coupled with some novel Johan inspired blasphemies.


Life Imitates HL88

Thanks to one of the 8 readers of this blog for bringing yet more proof that life imitates Happy Lucky 88 Manufacatory's plywood initiative.
The wonder element PLYWOODIUM, made so popular by HL88 and crafted into so many high quality cycling products, has found a place in the Festivus pantheon. An intrepid inventor with a jigsaw has produced a fetching plywood tree ready to hold a finite number of ornaments. Shown here in its purest state, the plywoodium tree will likely withstand the feats of strength program of any evening.


HL88 sees the logic

Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has uncovered a highly covert operation which converted automobiles into something indescribable. These curious abominations were developed at an undisclosed cosmodrome in the nothern hemisphere. the engineer at HL 88 Manufactory feels she can adapt this technology to assist Team Vitesse during perilous navigation through brown sugar snow. Johan insists that the back tyre needs to be lager (see Graham Rawles lost consonants).


Team Vitesse Seeks Divine Intervention

Fresh from their most successful season in the professional peleton, Team Vitesse is set to announce a new approach to training. Thus far sporadic training with a virtual manager (Johan the Omniscient) has resulted in riders snatching superb victories with too much effort. Dr K2 has noticed that Johan has changed his timbre this year. "I believe that Johan got religion somewhere" mused the good doctor.
Johan's new plan is to call upon divinities, both past and present, to augment an already strenuous and extensive training program. For instance, early in the season, h2o experienced an inordinate number of flat tyres. Having identified this as a potential nuisance, Team Vitesse has retained the services of Phlatus, Averter of Punctures, to watch over its athletes. Pheedus, the spirit overseeing feed zones will leave the services of Radio Shack to join the retinue of divinities who will be channeled by Johan.
Johan believes that channeling divinities will be chicken feed, "I often feel the spirits at the casino. They speak loudest after I pass out." Team members are unsure of how well Johan can drive the virtual team car, provide tactical guidance and channel while passed out. "Johan is a master of the multi-task" spouted Lampo Bianco from the new WORC (Western Oceanographic Research Cosmodrome).


The 9 "P"s of Cold Arm

Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory's Cold Arm Foundation continues its educational initiative with the introduction of the nine "P"s of Cold Arm. Deemed an issue of high concern, management has broken down Cold Arm into 9 domain environments based on experiential experiences.
  1. Persecution: Cold Arm crosses all ethnic, gender and class boundaries with its relentless attacks.
  2. Prediction: one must always assess each situation for the eventuality of Cold Arm.
  3. Probability: Cold Arm never sleeps nor does it ever rest.
  4. Provocation: Cold Arm seeks to undermine one's very comfort in one's chosen environment.
  5. Preparedness: one can never be too prepared for the onslaught of Cold Arm. Always have anti Cold Arm precautions on hand.
  6. Prevention: Think ahead before Cold Arm gains the upper hand, forearm and arm.
  7. Purposefulness: conducting oneself according to the Cold Arm capability framework will give one's existence purpose and meaning.
  8. Perseverance: one must be vigilant against the evils of Cold Arm.
  9. Perpetuity: Cold Arm does not end simply because one has obeyed numbers 1 through 8. It can attack anywhere (see #4), anytime (see #3), anyone (see #1).
  10. Puerility: Rest assured - there is nothing puerile about Cold Arm.
Commensurate functional activity must be coordinated. Watch for updates about the 23 "F"s of Stretch Goals by Johan.


Brown Sugar Riding - Trials & Tribulations

Winter brings special challenges to the cyclist. Excessive snow mixed
with brownish dusty sand becomes a strange unpackable compound called
brown sugar snow. Similar to brown sugar but salty to the tongue,
brown sugar snow demands a particular skill set from the rider. Two key
takeaways from h2o's experiential analysis are:
1. Maintain the maximum rate of speed possible when entering a brown sugar zone.
2. Avoid excessive course corrections.
Always remember that forward thinking with a commitment to positive
intent will facilitate connectivity with the road.



HL88 - Green Delivery

In keeping with the surge in interest in green technology, Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has retained skilled delivery men to feed the need for raw materials for its factories. Shown below is just such a professional driver on a closed course pounding the pedals in a relentless Johanish fashion. His goal was to deliver Styrofoam, a key ingredient in plywood production, to the giant mixing vats of HL88. Drivers must cover the 88 kilometers in less than 2 hours or risk having pay docked from their lucrative salaries.
There is feverish competition between these professional drivers who are true heroes in the supply chain management system. Please do not try this at home. It is best to use an abandoned parking lot to replicate these feats of delivery prowess.


New Derny Driver Announced

Rip and Hammer a.k.a. R&H, has been the chef of Team Vitesse for as long as anyone can remember. His famous Protein Pucks, cooked with the able assistance of the George Foreman Grill, is the food of legend. Adhering to the strict fiscal restraint protocol practiced by Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory but ignored by Johan, R&H will perform double duty, adding Derny driver to his resume. Most teams are using the configuration pictured here.
Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory, ever the innovator, developed the 88 Scooter back in July of 2009. The Plywoodium barrier provides the patented "Hollow of Bliss" that Team Vitesse members are so passionate about.
From virtual reality to real reality, the R&H scooter will soon make its appearance at a velodrome near you. Make no mistake, this scooter can certainly scoot, thanks to the installation of a hyper speed chip. They say that pimping with accessories makes the ride and this rig is no exception. A special HL88 "Chiming of Good, Bad and Ugly Tidings" bell has been affixed to the command control cockpit. This warns everyone in a 10 meter radius to clear the track. Team Vitesse has wound it up and is in full flight!
Your sense of impending doom will be confirmed when you hear this ear piercing din coming at mach speeds from the rear. Team Vitesse is grateful to have the experienced trained driver, R&H, to pilot this vehicle from launch to landing.


Manufactory Signs Big Contract

Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory is now the official plywood supplier to the 2012 Games in London. This exciting news was announced recently by HL88 Management at a strip club in Soho. HL88 CEO, Hap Luck, was quick to point out the positives of this mammoth project. "We never built velodrome before and very excited to find out what is velodrome." Organizers of the games were impressed with the artists rendering of what will be London's state of the art velodrome. "We especially liked the choice of smooth or weathered plywood finishes for the ceiling of the building!" Critics express concern about what appear to be gaps at the seams between sheets of plywood. Johan, on hand for the announcement, dismissed this as nitpicking bellowing, "any track rider worth his/her salt should be able to deal with slight imperfections in the board surface. The maximum gap between 4 by 8 foot sheets of plywood is normally 6 inches."
Team Vitesse can attest to the magic imbued with each plywood product from HL88. "These guys are magicians with the plywood!" exhalted Lampo Bianco. "I have good HL88 sensations" whispered Dr. K2. "Kudos to HL88 for building this beautiful fire trap" enthused h2o.


HL88 sponsors feast

In what is being described as a "Feast for the Ages", a couple of the loyal support staff from Team Vitesse sponsored an dinner of appreciation for h2o. Team cook Rip & Hammer and IT specialist, the "it man" were on hand to applaud the beneficent work of Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory and the continued sinning ways of Team Vitesse. Special Spanish protein discs were flown in from a local butcher for the festive event. These were cooked with loving care by George Foreman on his million dollar grill. Most of the clenbuterol was teased out with the cups of fat that were also liberated during the heating process.
As you can see, the result was a minimalist presentation fit for a King of the Mountains. h2o was the lucky rider to consume 3 of these Iberian treats. The raucous party broke out into song as the cranberry/spa drinks began to take hold. Toasts sent glasses clinking as Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory was hailed as the great innovator of modern day plywood usage. Johan provided some short disjointed comments via a satellite link up from a ditch outside of Bern. Transcripts of his colourful nonsensical rant are still being deciphered. All in all a most excellent evening was enjoyed by all.


Team Vitesse Confirmed as Pro Team

The UCI announced today the first batch of teams to be awarded licenses at the top tier of the sport. The UCI also revealed the criteria for deciding which teams will be allowed into top tier, stating that for 2011 licenses. The evaluation of teams has placed particular emphasis on the sporting criterion. Johan sneered at the suggestion that he physically coerced the UCI into awarding Team Vitesse a license. "They received the same verbal abuse as my riders. That is just how I roll" growled the great man. Teams were ranked on the results of the squad's top 15 riders "using results obtained in 2009 and 2010" in all races on the calendar. It was decided that only the top 15 teams in this ranking would receive or keep their existing first tier status as long as they also meet the financial, ethical and administrative criteria. Team Vitesse relied heavily on the strong finishes of Dr. K2 in 2010 cyclocross season, the high placing of Lampo Bianco at the Giro and the "Heavy Drop" flourishes by h2o at the Tour. The ethical and financial criteria were conceived by Johan behind closed doors. "They asked a lot of ridiculous questions about the team's ethics which required equally ridiculous answers" bragged Johan. Team Vitesse has long been known as the bad boy team of cycling because they rely on physical and psychological tactics to win races. Therefore it is surprising to some that Team Vitesse slots into the top ten amongst professional teams.

The UCI's 2010 Teams Rankings

1 Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project
2 Rabobank Cycling Team
3 Garmin-Cervélo
4 HTC-Highroad
5 Omega Pharma-Lotto
6 Lampre-ISD
7 Katusha
8 Sky ProCycling

8a Team Vitesse-HL88 & Cold Arm

9 Liquigas-Cannondale
10 Saxo Bank SunGard
11 Team RadioShack
12 Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
13 Pro Team Astana
14 Movistar Team
15 BMC Racing Team
16 Euskaltel-Euskadi
17 Geox-TMC
18 Quick Step Cycling Team
19 Cofidis Le Crédit en ligne
20 AG2R
21 FDJ
22 Saur-Sojasun
23 Pegasus Sports
24 Skil-Shimano
25 Acqua e Sapone
26 Colnago-CSF Inox
27 Europcar
28 Androni Giocattoli
29 Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator
30 Veranda's Willems-Accent
31 Team Type 1
32 CCC Polsat Polkowice
33 Bretagne-Schuller
34 Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli
35 Landbouwkrediet
36 UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
37 Team Netapp
38 Team SpiderTech powered by C10
39 Caja Rural
40 Colombia Es Pasion-Café de Colombia
41 De Rosa-Ceramica Flamina
42 Andalucia Caja Granada


Cyclocross. One Man's POV

Thank you H2O for your Team Vitesse race report and support in the last few races. It is true that this fall Team Vitesse and Dr K2 actually went as far as to sign up for some cyclocross races. After a decade long retirement from racing Dr K2 returned with a bang (well more of a whimper) proving the old adage that you are never too old to race for a worthwhile cause such as COLD ARM. Johan's revolutionary training techniques of "within power" and "freshness" were faithfully applied. No serious training was partaken by Dr K2 prior to the first race and within the first lap it was obvious that Dr K2 had mistaken within power for without power. The first race resulted in the gasping utterance of "i am never doing that again"....2 races later Dr K2 wonders if he may need to visit with the team's head shrinker (LB i need you!!).

Dr K2 has learned a number of valuable lessons which he would like to share with other Team Vitesse members:

1) Ten years away from bike racing is not "freshness" its "staleness"

2) Writing a thesis and changing diapers are not an appropriate training regime. Saint Eddy M. was correct in his assertion that one must "ride more"

3) Orange tooting horns from Holland look cute enough but they contain enough power to knock a grown man clean off a bike.

4) Race days are not "opposite days" therefore H2O suggestion to "keep it smooth" actually means to remain smooth not to dig ones head into the turf like a Belgian ostrich.

5) Within power works best when power actually exists within otherwise it is just a training gimmick used by Johan to support his baccarat habit.

6) "Lets go race it will be fun" ....who ever says these words should be kicked in the shins and the Team Vitesse member should promptly run away as fas as possible.

7) Start times are not suggestions unlike Johan's fluid (alcohol of his selection) sense of time, races exist on a prompt schedule. Arriving at the start line while having a team mate peel off your warmup jacket will not get you a good starting position.....and you know how important that is in cyclocross....well at least Dr K2 does now.

8) Never, I repeat never, enter the sand pit behind a camel....passing is not encouraged due to all the spitting and they often throw a hump not unlike an elbow in that favourite of Burundian sports, hockey.

9) Being of the same nationality as Ari Van der Pool does not immediately predispose one to the sport of cyclocross. A long winter of training at Cold Lake awaits Dr K2 in his quest to maintain mediocrity in the beginners class of cyclocross.


Dr K2 finds Within Power

After the disaster of Dr. K2's last cyclo-cross race, yesterday's triumph of smooth riding and Within Power maximization is a relief. That previous nightmare RED Cross race witnessed h2o urging his teammate on tp victory. Blowing his Johan Horn, h2o literally blew K2 off his bike. Dr. K2 went down and was promptly passed by 4 riders. He plummeted down the standings and blames the inopportune blast from the Johorn for his disappointing finish.

This Sunday's race would make the drama of his previous outing seem trivial. Dr. K2 got off to a very slow start from the back of the field. He quickly overtook weaker riders on the steep inclines deep in the fecund forest. Passing areas were at a premium on this difficult course but K2 always found a way.
Shown above, Dr. K2 deftly passes a highly ranked camel. Apparently, the camel and its jockey suffered a mechanical and retired to the oasis. K2 finished the epic having only one fall which h2o did not witness and claims absolutely no responsibility for.


Lampo IS the Bagman

Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has scored a tour de force with its newest bag collection. Creatively dubbed the "Lampo Collectzione", this high quality plywood satchel is a one of a kind carrying experience.

Made to the strict standards of Lampo Bianco and his advisory staff, the Lampo Collectzione courier bag boasts an impressive pedigree. Cut from the same plywoodium cloth as the Ultimate Bag, Lampo's new bag contains refinements only possible in the sweat shop atmosphere of the Happy Lucky 88 studios.
Whether you are on a forced march or merely picking up this distinctive bag in a feed zone, the Lampo Collectzione is a must have for the up and coming or mature racer.


HL88's New Element Announced

Top scientific minds at Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory have convinced the world chemical community that Plywood and its underlying element, Plywoodium, ranks as an element of the periodic table. In fact, it has replaced Radium which has the same atomic weight - 88.

Recently, a liberated Chilean miner brought rocks to the surface to share with his saviours. These rocks are said to contain traces of plywoodium.

Certain factions of the international scientific community have expressed concern that Radium is a useful element and should not be bumped off the chart. HL88 officials have disarmed these alarmist contrarians by proving to them that Plywood can do just about anything, as evidenced by the incredible success of Team Vitesse.
News of its inclusion as an element has caused a spike in Plywoodium prices at $888.88 per metric ounce.


Cosmodrome Annex Opens

The official opening of the Other Cosmodrome Annex took place over the weekend. No HL88 dignitaries physically attended but were virtually present through the magic of modern telecommunications. The annex can hold up to 8,000 board feet of plywood, a boast that will soon be confirmed by the Chinese Cruncher. "Security of plywood is my paramount concern. In fact I could care less about it" mumbled Johan during a particularly bad night at the casino.
With security in mind, HL88's contracted designer, PE5GW (soon to be PE6GW), added modesty panels to the structure. "The modesty panels allow light to enter but never leave, much like a black hole only in an off white", chirped the team ornithologist.
This handsome structure is ready to accept shipments of Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory's indispensable raw material.


h2o Solos to Victory

It was a dour battle against a light wind and inertia today as h2o rode his heart out for Team Vitesse. The day dawned cloudy with an oppressive sense of anticipation. h2o would set forth on a epic ride for the ages. The friendly familiar roads turned angry and unrecognizable setting the stage for a struggle of titanic proportions. The billowing clouds of effluent from the vibrant petrochemical plants served double duty as backdrop and lung coating. Johan bellowed into his earpiece spurring h2o to trash talk himself to the top podium spot. Despite his tears of exertion, h2o was still able to identify roadkill as he churned his way up the continuous false flat. One ex porcupine and one ex chickadee were noted. Other breathing wildlife included 7 llama(s) and a flock of 7 geese. These counts, of course, are in direct violation of Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory's entrenched corporate bylaws stating that all random number occurrences must end in the number eight (8). No doubt h2o will suffer severe consequences for refusing to pad his wildlife counts. Picking up Johan's bar tab can be prohibitively expensive.


Vitesse Ornithologist to Change Feathers

Rumour and innuendo have reared their ugly heads around the Other Cosmodrome. A possible purchase of a sixth grinder could potentially take place. This sixth grinder, similar to a sixth sense, will reach speeds of relatively low r.p.m. in the wonderful world of grinders. "Polishing granite will become a grinding reality for me" trilled PE5GW. History will repeat itself when a Team Vitesse member's handle will be modified to suit your screen. Only after visual proof is presented to cycling cosmonaut will PE5GW (Pointy Elbow 5 Grinder Wife) become PE6GW (Pointy Elbow 6 Grinder Wife). Johan was nonplussed murmuring, "Vitesse has grinders? Shouldn't they be in the team car for some reason?"


HL88 Congratulates World Champion

Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has joined the chorus of congratulations ringing in Thor Hushovd's ears. Thor won the jersey in Australia this past weekend riding for Norway. HL88 has had a long association with Norway because some of the raw materials which go into the production of plywood have their origin in the forests of Norway.
Thor will make a great world champion and ambassador for Norway's burgeoning plywood supply apparatus.


Happy Lucky Not So Lucky

Despite the resiliency of the plywood market and cycling products made therewith, Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has been forced to cut its level of sponsorship to Team Vitesse. This will be most noticeable as the team car follows the team at the major Pro-Tour events in 2011. Officials at the Manufactory hung their heads in shame at the announcement. "There will be no reduction of roadside support at the grand tours." Johan spewed further, " Our protected riders will be able to receive my advice in real time on real roads. Of course I will be travelling in reduced comfort in the camper with unspecified guests while one of the domestiques powers this wagon along."

Reached for comment, Lampo Bianco quipped, "What is good for Johan is good for the team." Dr. K2 was more assertive, "I never want to be a domestique again!". Team Vitesse's continued blind faith in Johan's managerial skills should pay dividends in 2011.


Life Imitates Blog AGAIN

Whoever said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery underestimated the WITHIN POWER of Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory. In a thinly veiled advertising gambit, a large chain store has crossed an unwritten rule in the sand. HL88's legal counsel is calling for backup to establish whether the "88" in its title can be used by just anyone without HL88's express written consent.
It does seem a bit more than coincidental that this upstart tire store for Canadians is marking its 88th birthday. Could it be that they are riding the brand recognition coattails that Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has tirelessly developed with the magic of plywood?


Life Imitates Blog

As if proof were required to affirm the power of this blog, it has been reported that manager Pino of the Xacobeo-Galicia pro team, has taken a strip off one of his riders in the manner of Team Vitesse's illustrious manager, Johan.

“I want Ezequiel to be calling me an asshole, because you have to provoke him,” Pino told a Spanish newspaper. “If you provoke in private, he doesn’t react, which is why I did it in public. I want him to be telling me: ‘There’s no director who is more of an asshole than you are!’ That’s what I’m looking for. I’m doing it for his own and the team’s good.” This is a direct threat to Team Vitesse's asshole manager Johan has held the title of biggest asshole for some long time.

Although Johan denies it (or doesn't remember), his brief stint on the motivational speaking circuit must have made quite an impression on Pino. "If any rider ever calls me an asshole I will relegate them to BMX racing for the rest of their lives" drooled Johan.

Courier Game Support

Many questions have arisen about HL88's new game, Courier Death Race.

Q: What game console will work?
A: In its usual singular vision, Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory will support the game with a series of game consoles. "PlyStation 8", "PlyBOX" and "PlyBOX368" will all be available when the game is released.

Q: Can the courier try some of the product they are delivering?
A: Yes, but the courier risks being docked points after compromising the integrity of the kilo.

Q: What kind of hats can the player choose for his courier?
A: HL88 is working with famous hat designers such as Bert&Fiona, Valentino and Johnny the Uke to design a full range of exciting choices.


HL88 to Deliver Interactive Game

You the faithful reader have come to expect the highest in quality and excellence from Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory. Once again they appear on the verge of delivering AGAIN.
At the recently concluded Eurobike 2010 in Frankfurt, a high ranking official at the HL88 plywood booth announced, off the record, that HL88 has begun development of an interactive video game called "Courier Death Race". Specifics are sketchy but it appears that players will be required to deliver virtual packages by fixed gear bicycles while facing the usual gaming obstacles.
Deliveries take place in very realistic computer settings imitating Delhi, NYC or Smoky Lake. Players must use the "delivery package menu" to choose from divorce documents, a kilo of cocaine, or 1 quart sweet and sour soup. Gamers also have a choice of gear ratio, HL88 Plywood accessories and hat style. Points are awarded for speed of delivery and the integrity of the package upon delivery. To make the game more interesting and engaging, the delivery route will have pop-up plywood barricades, potholes, pedestrian interference, police chases and obstructionist gang related activity. During the delivery, accidents can befall the player ranging in severity from bullet wounds to the game ending "chain-slip-top-tube-berry-crush". The player "refuels" along the route by absorbing sandwiches made of whitefish and plywood.
Official release of Courier Death Race will occur in time for Christmas. Stay tuned!


Carbon Bike Print

Team Vitesse has sent h2o to Happy Lucky 88 headquarters at his own
great expense. The stipulation was that he would attempt to reduce his
carbon footprint. Setting out under steady drizzle, intrepid h2o has
managed to cover the 220 kms in good time considering his full
panniers. "Drafting behind tractor trailers is a great energy saver"
shouted h2o above the highway din. "I should make tomorrow's finance
meeting by next week" he added. Johan has been providing his usual
derisive comments on race radio. Somethings never change.


Cycling Weather Report

This morning, the cycling cosmonaut found the ambient temperature to be fairly moderate. However, over the course of the pre-dawn ride, a nasty wind blew up causing concerns for chakra upset. This lower level disturbance is blowing hyper cool air around causing restrained to excessive discomfort. The threat of rain is imminent as the low hanging clouds belie a sinister intention for precip. Should one spend time in the out-of-doors, one would be well advised to don an ensemble featuring two of the following: warmth, water repellent ability or style. Matching socks are also highly recommended. The precip is predicted for this afternoon but this reporter would not be surprised that localized showers will provide the liquid at any point in the future.


News of WORC

The following press release from Lampo Bianco has been edited. It has been formatted to fit your screen.

Western Oceanic Research Cosmodrome (WORC) is lurching into productivity. The intertube and telephonic systems are finally on-line after Doukhobors were paid in ugly fabric to dig new under-ocean channels to install the wires. Johan will hopefully be pleased for once. Endless lists of to-do's initially gave Lampo mental scabies and crotch rot, but he has learned to relax, take each moment as it comes, enjoy the process, prioritize and forget the insignificant items; basically to give up. The house is sound, the vibe is great, the support superb, the deck a dream, the environ breathtaking. Tomorrow workers arrive early to install 200 AMPS OF RAW RIPPING POWER to generate enough energy to run the various Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory machinery. The bikes are dormant but Johan has given me a reprieve during the installation of the HL88 facility. Lampo Bambino is well and looking forward to catching some rays on the deck.

Night Train, pivotal member of Team Vitesse on the European beachhead, has returned to the bike after that unfortunate scuffle with some Canada Geese. It took 2 months to remove the feathers from the spokes but the time has come to work off all those endless Peking Goose dinners.

Dr. K2 has gone undercover working for a reputable red bike shop. His assistance in searching out new bike bling has been instrumental in the increase in h2o's account at said store. He has begun training for the cyclo-cross season by riding 15 minutes to work and dismounting at traffic lights to run across the intersection.


Swedish Banana Peeled

As announced on these pages yesterday, images of the Swedish Banana are now available for your perusal.
It is obvious that the Other Cosmodrome Security Forces are on maximum CODE RED HIGH Alert with the arrival of this 7th wonder of the cycling world.
This almost complete view of the Swedish Banana also reveals the new plywood storage facility currently under construction at this point in time.
A close-up of the much vaunted couplers, coupled with the high voltage steel mesh of the plywood storage facility. Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory insists on this level of security for its raw material inventory. Naturally, any bicycles stored in the immediate proximity of the inventory fall under the same secure anti-theft sector control. HL88 takes its responsibility for serene cycling sustainability seriously.


Refurbished Sled on the Road

Team Vitesse has issued an update on the May 20th vehicular entanglement involving h2o and the "banana" bicycle. The banana's distinctive yellow fenders and tasty components have been transferred to a blue traveler's check (fotos to follow). This rendition of an old theme hints at a Swedish influence coupled with breakdown ability. The "Swedish banana" has the capability to be transported to the West Coast Cosmodrome at the drop of a wrench.

In other news, great strides were recently made in the Other Cosmodrome's outdoor plywood inventory storage facility. The Chinese Cruncher, acting on vague orders from Johan, will attend the official ribbon cutting ceremony once the roof has been installed and immediately begin the arduous task of plywood computation or plycomp. Work continues on facility designed to hold more than a few sheets of plywood. It is hoped that there will be room for a couple of bikes as well.


Plywood Hit Counter Hits 5000

Cycling cosmonaut is pleased to announce that there have been 5,000 hits to this point in time. This author managed to raise the count by refreshing numerous times too numerous to mention. Thank you faithful readers for your continued readership.


End of the Cosmodromic Era

Safely returned from the west coast, h2o took a week off from Johan's tortuous training regime to recuperate in his personal Euphoric Fountain of Youth Booth. "The forest fire smoke was some right Jesus thick", wheezed h2o as he entered his 72 hour stint in the converted bath. PE5GW was next to enjoy the rejuvenating qualities of HL88's timeless design. Some travel notes:
Cold Arm reared its ugly head during the trip back from the west coast. Before she knew it, the insidious Cold Arm had manifested itself on PE5GW's arms. One would not expect such a calamitous event to occur during summer. However, the lunar rover's air conditioner had blown long enough that Cold Arm quickly gained the upper hand and arm. Fortunately a quick thinking h2o redirected the air flow away from the exposed flesh. PE5GW then hung her arms out the window for 250 kilometers to allow the sun's radiant heat reverse the hated Cold Arm. Cycling Cosmonaut is please to report that a full recovery has been effected and that PE5GW is now doubly vigilant against Cold Arm.

While h2o was engaged in the travails of training on the coast with Johan, Lampo Bianco was busy packing up the Western Cosmodrome and enjoying family life with Lampo Madonna and Lampo Bambino. Johan insisted on an "end of an era" training ride last night. Lampo has been using the moving preparation to slim down to his racing weight of 15 years ago. Lampo's predominately black kit enhanced this illusion of a slimmer, leaner racer. Gone with that extra poundage was some of Lampo's explosive power. This made him easy pickings for the heavy drop power of h2o which h2o exhibited ably and often.

With Lampo moving to the west coast to establish a beachhead for Team Vitesse's far western operations, training rides like this will be marginally more difficult. Fortunately, Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has stepped up with a new Team Vitesse Travel Trust Fund or TVTTF. In exchange for plywood storage space at LB's western cosmodrome, HL88 will donate $1 from the sale of each Prosperous Contented Obstruction Blocking. It is generosity like this that we have come to expect from Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory.

Lampo's western cosmodrome will be situated in an area where people have their priorities straight as you can see:
Please join Cycling Cosmonaut is wishing the Lampo Bianco family all the best at their new cosmodramatic location.


Part 8 - Cobble Hill

Johan bade me train early to avoid heat. Dutifully tested new
strategy; WITHIN SPIN, a version of WITHIN POWER for single speeds.
Relies on internal bodily spin processing and was effective until
Bambi crossed road. Had to grab handful of brake to avoid collision.
Johan displeased that venison dinner was spared. Sensations improved
from Day 1 ride. TTFO Johan.


Part 7 - Kool down

Extreme heat again today and race radio is silent. Must mean Johan slept in. Took the ABBA 8 track and went down for aqua workout. Can't complain about the water temp when air temp is 32. Tomorrow means an attack on Cobble Hill Road with Johan in my ear. Lampo is going to love it here.



Part 6 - The Chase

Somehow Johan arranged for a pro from a rival team to be 250 meters ahead on the circuit today. Clawing back the deficit on every hill only to lose it on the following downhill. Single speeds have a max called gravity. Finally bridged up on a hill and received trash talk about bike choice. Might as well wave a red jersey in front of a freight train. Left him to inhale my vapours until the next downhill. Johan's plan for a training win was positive. Received hero's welcome and lunch. An unfair advantage called WITHIN POWER? I don't think so...


Part 5 - Rest day in Nature

Woke up to find team ornithologist observing covey of quail sunning on
dock. Fruitless hunt for pictorial confirmation but trust PE5GW's
ident. With Johan's permission am allowed to be tourist after 4.5 hr
aquacize workout to ABBA. A cruel but fair task master indeed.


Part 4 - Gravel

Johan's map showed today's route to a river. No mention of endless kms
of washboard & gravel. "Loose grip for limp wrists. Use the Within
Power to perservere" he intoned in my ear. 1 puncture later the
triumphant return to tarmac. Nice recon Johan.


Part 3 - Carnage 4 Johan

Ride began innocently enough. Why choose geared bike when u can
struggle up every rise on a single speed? Garter snake gave its life
in Johan's name. High speed downhill, snake crossing road. Missed the
sign. h2o 1 snake 0. Then swim to wash off snake stuff-then nap-then
lunch. Beauty what...




Cosmonaut Exclusive Part 2

Arrived at the BC resort destination. On-site massage therapist had day off - bummer. The workout regime will be an early morning swim, 1 hour cycle around the lake, then a 3 hour nap. Can't wait to start. Hope a massage can be scheduled tomorrow. Just livin' the Johan dream! h2o


Cycling Cosmonaut exclusive

Cycling cosmonaut has coerced h2o into supplying brief accounts during
a Johan ordered reconnaisance trip to the coast. What follows is his
first transmission:

Passed so many cyclists on the road. Just flew by them like they were
standing still. The grades were sometimes steep and taxing but my legs
still have good sensations after day 1. The bike looks superb on top
of the car. TTFN


HL88 Announces Plywood Consultant

So much of Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory's industrial base and production is dependent on plywood that the Board and management deemed it prudent to retain the services of a Professional Plywood Consultant (PPC). The individual was chosen from the lofty accounting and lumber firmament and is a designated PPC. The Chinese Cruncher (CC), as he is known in the specialized field of cellulose audit, has honed his skills in the board foot analysis of OSB, MDF, IMF, Veneer, and Schmengie Board. "Plywood is a new challenge for me but the linear concepts are very similar around the world of wood. My experience with warped Schmengie Board will work to my advantage in nailing down any anomalies" said CCPPC enthusiastically. Johan did not embrace the announcement with open arms, instead threatening to "obfuscate any audit of plywood use at my Lake Como villa." It appears that the Chinese Cruncher will require all his tape measuring skills when he visits Johan's enclave next month.

A Base of Tranquility or Dread

In most press interviews with cycling speakers of the romance languages (I refer to Italian and Spanish - Basso and Contador respectively) always refer to "good sensations" and a feeling of "tranquility". French riders are seldom interviewed, presumably due to their consistently poor performances filled with "bad sensations" and a feeling of "dread".
Ivan and Alberto say they are feeling tranquil. This must be a poor translation of the sense of foreboding and shear panic that fills the pro peleton whenever Team Vitesse is included.
With Within Power the Vitesse seems to be unstoppable this season. Many wonder what lies beneath the genuine serenity of the stars of Team Vitesse - Lampo Bianco, Dr. K2, Night Train and h2o. In a rare period of lucidness, Johan has decided to open his "sanguine satchel" to reveal one of the secrets to the team's success. Uncorking an ancient looking flask with the label, "Calm Balm", a stench of effluvial offal assaults the senses. "Rubbing this on the thighs and calves gives our riders a true sense of tranquility which beautifully compliments our patented Within Power. The rest of the peleton is left stoking their "furnaces of fear" and unpacking their collection of cramps" drooled Johan. The results speak for themselves. Johan has one of the best pro cycling teams ever assembled. The question is not "What would Johan do" but "What won't Johan do"...


Expansion Plans at Other Cosmodrome

That old saying, "When one cosmodrome relocates or suspends operations for some reason, another one springs up to replace the compromised facility in true cosmodramatic fashion", has never been more partially true. This nugget has long been attributed to Socrates, apparently uttered during one of his hemlock benders. Now Team Vitesse is attempting to apply this sage wisdom to the Other Cosmodrome. If you have been following these pages you might remember that Lampo Bianco is moving his Western Cosmodrome to the west coast. Acting on the instructions of Johan, Lampo Bianco believes that Lampo Bambino will develop into a polka dot jersey contender if he is allowed to breathe deeply of the moisture laden sea air and enjoy liquid winters.
h2o and the lovely and talented PE5GW deemed it imperative to increase the storage capacity of the Other Cosmodrome during the relocation of the Western Cosmodrome's operations. PE5GW has designed an innovative annex to the Other Cosmodrome called the "Cosmodrannex". Reminiscent of a large animal cage but with a fine designer touches such as flow through ventilation, recycled steel, concrete flooring and a roof, the Cosmodrannex will house the overflow cycling weaponry from the Other Cosmodrome's growlery as well as some choice garden tools. h2o is fulfilling orders from Johan to house one of Lampo's land rockets. When Lampo visits the Other Cosmodrome for altitude training, he can withdraw his steed from the Cosmodrannex after leaving a small deposit with Johan.
Johan is enthusiastic about the Cosmodrannex and quipped, "Minimum bet at the black jack table will be 20 Swiss francs!".


Within Power Catchy

Other teams in the professional peleton are adopting the patented Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory's WITHIN POWER, made popular by h2o on these blogular pages. It seems that a member of BBox is using a psychologist to hone his visualization. Too bad that rider had to settle for second best. WITHIN POWER is a more expensive and therefore an extremely more better method of winning and winning huge. Johan's take on the matter is accurate as usual, "When I heard about other teams and their so called sports psychologists I immediately thought - SUCKAHS! WITHIN POWER from HL88 comes in tablet as well as liquid form. It cuts out the middle man." Indeed all of Team Vitesse has prospered from the WITHIN POWER tablet. Known as the "P tab" in the team Winnebago, Team Vitesse drops or pulls a tab whenever their power levels drop.
Currently the team's theme song is BTO's "Takin' Care of Business" bellowing on a continuous loop via a quadraphonic setup prior to each race. When coupled with a "P tab" the riders become extremely motivated. "I just want to get out there and race!", yelled Lampo over the din. Dr. K2 shrieked, "This song is really growing on me. Repetition can have that effect".


Cold Arm Misconceptions

One of the widespread misconceptions about Cold Arm is that the condition is less likely to manifest itself during the lovely days of summer. It is for this reason that this blog once again provides a dour warning to all unsuspecting humankind.
It is only natural that a person would want to enjoy the warmth of a gentle sun upon his or her arms. After all that is why short sleeved shirts were invented. However, danger lurks once the golden rays of the sun set each day. To the innocent and naive, the most perilous time for the onset of Cold Arm are the hours between sunset and sunrise also known as night. It is during this period of darkness that Cold Arm sweeps in to wreak havoc and discomfort.
One should always be on the alert for the symptoms of Cold Arm and take the proper precautions to avert tears, wailing and gnashing. The symptoms begin with the feeling of cold on the arm followed by a general dropping of skin temperature in the arm area. Specially designed shirts and sweaters with long sleeves will help alleviate Cold Arm. Blankets can assist in reducing the uncomfortable feeling of Cold Arm and return the arm to its natural temperature.
During this summer of joyful warmth, please remain alert for the ugly spectre of Cold Arm.


New Team Vitesse Addition(s)

Hard on the heels of Dr. K2's addition to the peleton comes Lampo Bambino, son of the great Lampo Bianco. Weighing in at solid 4 kilograms, LB Jr. is now the lightest rider on Team Vitesse and is tipped to be a future King of the Mountains Jersey winner. Lampo Bambino will start riding with Team Vitesse's Under 1 program along with K2's daughter O. Both of these up and coming stars start their careers with hairless legs.
The future of Team Vitesse and its prestigious sponsor Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory is secure thanks to these new young riders progressing up the ranks.


Alberto Embraces Vitesse Tactics

Stage 15 of this year's edition of the Tour de France has now supplied an excellent dose of controversy. On the final grade over an unpronounceable Col or Porte or whatever, Alberto attacked the hapless Schleck during the latter's dropped chain. "Chain dropsy" is cycling code for a screw up in the shifting mechanism caused by using SRAM components. Obviously Contador has been reading this blog and liked what he saw under the Heavy Drop segments published on this pages. Living up to his nickname "El Pistola Bad Manners", Contador contravened the unwritten rule that one does not attack while your opponent is freaking out at the roadside during a mechanical incident.
By taking a page out of h2o's "Heavy Drop" play book, Contador has ensured that he will go down in infamy and his nickname is upgraded (or downgraded depending on how you look at it) to "El Pistola Cheating SOB".
Reached for comment in his hammock, Johan drawled, "Attacking should by its very nature, be a surprise. Why not attack when your opponent whines by the roadside? h2o has had great success with this tactic." Both Lampo and Dr. K2 have received this treatment and swear to its morale crushing consequences. Team Vitesse approves of Alberto's cycling code transgression.


Happy Lucky's New BAG

Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has completed the development, testing and implementation of a new technology -- technology so advanced it can only be described as a paradigm shift in engineered design. HL88 has created a plywood that looks, acts and feels like cotton material. Under proper controlled circumstances it can be crafted into enduring, classic, and useful products. Similar to Chrysler's Corinthian leather in its durability and tactile suppleness, this plywood material obeys all the laws of thermodynamics and even absorbs 8 times its weight in h20!

The plywood interior of the new HL88 "Ultimate" model of the BAG.

If Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory made it YOU know it is of excellent quality.


Cosmonauts on the Road - the Metaphor of Hair

Yesterday protected rider Lampo Bianco began training in earnest for the Tour de France. The Tour may have started already but LB is determined to join the peleton during the Pyrenean stages later in the month. To that end he has quit his day job as madcap impresario to devote himself full time to Johan's sage advice. Lampo took the unusual step of removing the hirsute mat that covered his lily white legs. "I used an electric hair device which is never as effective as a razor. Thus I avoided excessive blood loss", barked Lampo through the strong headwind. His babbling continued, "Stray hair always remains on the knees particularly. These few follicles flap furtively providing a beacon of leadership during stressful periods".
Johan seems to agree with this assessment adding, "the freshness exhibited by Lampo is phenomenal. Indeed it is akin to the meerkat's entertainment abilities."
Meanwhile, Dr. K2 was performing thigh strengthening exercises as he pulled his daughter around in a bike trailer. The weight savings of titanium were easily cancelled out by the dead weight in the trailer.


Injury Update from Britain

Night Train, one of the stalwart heroines of Team Vitesse's international complexion, has suffered a catastrophic mishap. It is difficult to sift the truth from the feathers on this breaking story, but it appears that Canada geese, acting in concert, attempted to commandeer her bicycle. A battle royale ensued during which Night Train sustained a broken thumb and a nasty contusion to her thigh. The geese attacked in a "V" formation and were barely beaten off with a pump. Night Train managed to keep her bike and the geese were eventually disbursed using water cannon and tear gas.
The planned training in the Orkneys has been cancelled. On a positive note, NT can now adopt the freshness approach to training so successfully employed by Lampo Bianco.

LB Maintains Freshness

They say that god is in the details. If this is the case, Lampo Bianco's Freshness campaign has evolved into a life style choice that most of us can only dream of. Devoting all his resources to the details of sustaining a fresh approach to the Tour, LB has buried himself in the minutiae of freshness. He will shave his gams on the day of the prologue in Rotterdam. He will change his bald tyres for fresh rubber on the same day. He will wash his kit the morning of the first stage to Bruxelles. He has successfully ignored the travails of training and will instead use his powerful Within Power to roll to victory. It is in this way that he perpetuates his place on the inertia wagon, lightly clinging to the hand rails of inaction. Save your applause so that it will be fresh on the day Lampo Bianco shoulders the yellow jersey.


This is What I am Talking About


I would like _ 1 MILLION _ bag(s) in whatever colour HL88 decides to make the bag(s) from and expect to receive it/them whenever the Manufactory finishes it/them.

I will gladly pay $200 cash for each bag. That means I will pay $__ THROUGH THE NOSE__ up front.


Lampo Bianco


Johan has a Brand New Bag

Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has decided to extend its prodigious product line to include sewn cycling satchels. Management has noticed that a growing subculture of hipsters in need of shoulder bags is waiting impatiently for the next trend. HL88 has always prided itself on being ahead of the wave of any products associated with cycling. In keeping with one of their mission statements, "Why make it out of a light material when you can make it out of plywood?", the manufactory has sourced a suitable fabric for this important project. Far more fascinating than plycra, the new "soft" plywood products will be available soon.
The next time you spot Johan at the black jack tables, compliment him on his brand new Plywood bag.


Lampo falls off Inertia Wagon

It has come to the attention of Johan and by extension, cycling cosmonaut, that Lampo mounted a stationary bike for a few minutes yesterday. This is in contravention of the Team Vitesse rules and regulations which categorically state in Section 14, Subsection (a), Paragraph (ii) that "Whatever Johan wants, Johan gets."
Johan promised swift disciplinary action. "He must pay with more enforced inactivity. He has set his freshness quotient back 2 weeks!" blathered Johan.
Lampo's sanguine response seemed to have quelled the wrath of Johan. "I promise to hover in the lotus position 6 inches above my desk chair just by practicing my WITHIN POWER. Apologies to Johan for falling off the inertia wagon. Maybe I can fix it with a night of drinking, gambling, and sleeping in a hot tube." purred Lampo.
Let us hope that this puts Lampo back in an orbit of inertia before the Tour.

Lampo's Lassitude

Exclusive to cycling cosmonaut, this foto shows the full extent to which Lampo Bianco has avoided training. Bicycle seats have always been a fertile place for germinating seeds but the new HL88 seat accurately measures the amount of time off the bike. Lampo has taken Johan's "freshness" training regime to heart. Careful measurement of blade length multiplied by hours of sunlight divided by average rainfall indicates that Lampo's bike has been idle for 5 uninterrupted weeks. A new level of languorous freshitude heretofore unheard of by professional cyclists has been achieved by Lampo. It is no wonder that Team Vitesse is a favourite at the Tour de France in Rotterdam on July 3.


Johan Speechless at Vuelta Snub

The long awaited announcement of teams invited to the Vuelta came and went -- without the inclusion of Team Vitesse. Johan immediately flew into a rage, damaging his vocal cords in the process. He remains speechless but managed to scribble a few notes on a casino napkin. "The Vuelta organizers have ensured they will never be invited to any Team Vitesse functions" the barely legible scrawl said. This is surely a devastating hardship what with Team barbeques, bingos and jumble sales all in the planning stages this season.
Team Update:
It appears that Lampo Bianco has sustained hurt feelings at not being included in the Dodecahedron Ply-nology treatments. Johan is currently testing the ply-nology on himself to ensure that it will provide actual positive results to already healthy cycling specimens. Johan has found renewed success at the black jack tables thanks to the Dodecahedron. Lampo, designated team leader, is champing at the bit to begin his treatments in advance of the Tour. "My state of relaxed fitness will peak for the Pyrenees with that 12 sided technology" cooed Lampo.
Night Train is planning a training run through the rain, wind and fog of the Orkney Islands in advance of the Tour. The idea is to become inured to the elements, enjoy some bronze age ruins and not get lost in the process.
Meanwhile, Le Triple continues to show promise actually riding on the European continent in actual races. Johan cannot believe the level of commitment shown by LT. "I love this guy... which one is he? Did we sign him?".


New Technological Cure

Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has responded to the latest rash of injuries suffered by Team Vitesse with a new product of unprecedented muscle potential. The newly patented Dodecahedron Ply-nology promotes healing during heavy exertion under race conditions. The talented polyhedron with its 12 flat faces has been used by h20 on an experimental basis during his miraculous comeback from cycling oblivion. Soon Dr. K2 will benefit from the mysterious scientifically proven coercimetric and epidiascopic properties.
Currently the Dodecahedron Ply-nology is available only to Team Vitesse. HL88 management projects a late July 2018 release of this "Johan Approved" product to unprofessional consumers. Have no doubts..."Johan Approved" products have achieved the highest certification possible and are guaranteed to be wonderful.


Accidents Plague Team Vitesse

In an unfathomable turn of events, Dr. K2 has suffered unknown internal injuries at the hands of a thoughtless motorist. It seems that the good doctor was travelling along a busy street when the perpetrator (here after known as the perp) opened her car door. K2 was able to move his body out of the way of the door but his brake lever and actual brake struck the offensive object. He somersaulted over his handlebars. Being a dedicated company man through and through he continued on his way to the Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory retail outlet.
Dr. K2 moaned, "This is worse than being beaten by Johan. I need to draw on my WITHIN POWER for a speedy recovery".
h2o was sympathetic as he continues his slow progress back from oblivion, "The doctor needs to follow Johan's strict recovery guidelines. He must ride longer and harder to recover more quickly."

The future of Team Vitesse in the Tour de France now rests on the shoulders of Lampo Bianco. He is the only remaining uninjured rider on the team. This is due exclusively to the fact that he does no training whatsoever, preferring to arrive "fresh" on July 3 at the start line in Rotterdam.


h2o Comeback Starts NOW!

Yesterday, h20 received the go-ahead to begin light riding. Extensive consultation between doctors, Saint Karl (the Patron Saint of Plywood), and Johan the Healer, has allowed h20 began the long road to full cycling fitness today. Gingerly pedaling with a heightened sense of mortality, h20 feathered his blue single speed into its usual parking stall below the Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory treasury department. A smattering of comments from fellow Team Vitesse members show the depth of their respect and concern for one of the founding fathers of this fabled team. Cycling Cosmonaut managed to interview team members during an intense media scrum after a session of sprint training in Death Valley.
Lampo Bianco wept as he said, "Coming back from injury is one of the bravest undertakings any cyclist can undertake. I was forced to come back from a trifling ankle injury and I know the sacrifices one must make. h2o's pluck in the face of adversity is legendary. He will succeed and the heavy drop will be back."
Dr. K2 was filled with foreboding stating, "h2o is going to come back hungrier than ever for downhill sprint points. I must get used to the idea of being constantly shelled from an h2o lead peleton. On the bright side the incessant media pressure will be focused on him allowing me to concentrate on good sensations."
Johan's surly comments were edited for family reading: "This ******* excuse of being lame has run its course. My management of this ******** Team is the best thing that could happen to cycling." Thank you Johan.
h2o perhaps put it best when he muttered, "Come backs are difficult. Witness Wiley Coyote after being squished by an anvil. Johan is a hard taskmaster and I will strive to be better." h2o went on intoning, "I owe my recovery to sleeping in the Euphoric Fountain of Youth Booth. Each night the plywood was installed over the tub and PE5GW dutifully sealed the plywood/porcelain interface with duck tape. Air was evacuated from the booth and the healing process began. The struggle for oxygen was character building. Kudos for the great engineering from HL88!".


HL88 Strikes GOLD with new designs

An updated version of the time trial rig made famous by Team Vitesse in the 2008 Tour has been unveiled by Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory. Management is convinced that this configuration of speed, agility and comfort will tip the scales for the team to dominate both the individual Race of Truth and the Team Time Trial.
Never a company to rest on its laurels, Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has unveiled another new product design. Marvel below at the new time trial seat. You may be asking yourself how a company that specializes in plywood products can make a time trial seat made of nogga-hide. The answer is simple. HL88 has contracted an offshore factory based in Alsask to produce these special seats for Team Vitesse.Team Vitesse's reaction was mostly gleeful on their first training ride with the equipment. Johan challenged the team saying, "Our advantage is solidified and winning will be chicken feed." Lampo reiterated the Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory motto, "Once again they have created a problem for an existing solution." "My addiction to chamois cream is history!" exclaimed Dr. K2.


Low Morale an Epidemic

Cycling cosmonaut has learned that the Hammer of Holland's injuries sustained in last week's tangle with a vehicle will keep him off the bike for 2 weeks. Doctors at Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory determined the extent of the soft tissue damage using the Plywood Resonator Information Kalculator or PRIK as it is more commonly known. "Results of the PRIK are conclusive and irrefutable" lamented Johan during one of his lucid moments.
Morale on Team Vitesse is at an all time low, comparable only to the desperate morale when HL88 could not supply the famed Prosperous Contented Obstruction Blocking in time for the Tour de France team time trial.
"Without h20 there is no heavy drop. Without heavy drop there is no chicanery. Without chicanery there is no Team Vitesse." This was the view of Dr. K2 who was devastated by the injury news. Lampo Bianco was more plaintive saying "h2o can use the WITHIN POWER to get better can't he?"


Spotting the Perp

Five days of solid icing of the bulbous knee joint allowed h20 to sit astride a single speed for a one legged ride to Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory's offices. Riding gingerly and with a heightened sense of care mixed with terror, h20 was within blocks of his destination when the unthinkable occurred. h20 noted a green Jeep at the traffic light turning left opposite him. The green light gave him a good look at the driver's side. Just as he suspected, a dent the size and shape of his knee along with some bicycle paint adorned the vehicle. Incredulity and shock were the sensations which rippled through h20's battered body. He immediately relived the sordid details of that fateful accident which threatens to derail h20's Tour chances. Such was the surprise that h20 did not meet the perpetrators eyes.
The healing process continues with slight improvements in mobility and colouration everyday. During a recent telephone interview, h20 despaired of ever reaching the dizzying heights of excellence in which he once reveled. Lampo allayed this incessant whining by pointing out that the stage has now been set for an h20 comeback, the likes of which have never been experienced by a cycling mad public.
When shown a foto of h20's damaged power limb, Johan thought he was looking at a sunset over Lake Como. Johan quickly recovered by babbling, "h20 will heal with WITHIN POWER and come back stronger than ever. This accident will prove to be the best thing ever!".
h20 commented that "the sensations are anything but good but I am drawing on the WITHIN POWER for guidance."


Just Riding Along

Each weekday, h20 rides one of his stable of cycle weaponry to Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory's corporate offices. h20 is manager of the vast HL88 investment portfolio and takes his role seriously. Constantly monitoring options, futures, hedges, race updates and derivatives takes mental and physical stamina, something that Team Vitesse training rides are instrumental in honing.
This past Thursday, May 21, h20 set off in light rain ready to do battle with investment brokers and bond settlements. Riding along a quiet street he was confronted with a vehicle making a left turn from a parking lot. The SUV driver had begun the turn but had stopped in h20's path. h20 jammed on the binders but his incredible momentum carried him into the front driver's side of the vehicle.
The resulting collision was not unlike the shot heard round the world. h20's left power piston dented the door and h20's chin nearly shattered the windscreen. A witness called for a broom wagon which took h20 to emergency. X-rays revealed nothing broken but the severe contusion to the knee has jeopardized h20's debut in the Dauphine Libre in 2 weeks. h20 continues to suffer from headaches from the windscreen uppercut. Mechanics are painstakingly examining h20's trusty Surly for damage. The driver of the vehicle remains unrepentant, claiming that h20 could have stopped with better brakes. Johan was first to offer his opinion saying that h20 should report his mishap to the local gendarme to ensure fault is properly assigned.

Cards and letters of support have been flooding in. Always true to Team Vitesse spirit, Dr. K2 has offered to pre-chew h20's food and Lampo Bianco will provide tyre pumping services for a year. The question remains however, how will this injury affect the Heavy Drop and can WITHIN POWER really heal wounds? Stay tuned...