Monday, January 17, 2011

Three day weekend

For many of us this is a three day weekend. In typical American fashion, more than half the country does not observe the holiday. This is something Europeans have a hard time understanding. Why do Americans feel the need to go to work all the time? It is not like productivity is that much higher in the US, and studies show that when people take a break every once in a while, they do better, work harder, and are happier.

The other day I was reading some sections in Keith Richards autobiography, Life. The book has been well received, something some attribute to the fact that it supposedly makes fun of Mick Jagger's manhood. I have not read any of these passages but rumor has it Keith is quite explicit and it would not surprise me if these spicy notes contribute to sales. The passage I did read revealed that Keith was probably quite damaged by the whole Anita Pallenberg affair.


Life is interesting for several other reasons. The Economist thinks it can teach business people lessons in management, partnerships and collaboration. How's that for an endorsement? The fact that The Economist even considered looking at it is surprising enough. Second, the book shows that all the hoopla about drugs and drug addiction is overblown. I can still remember the days when Keith Richard topped the lists of "Rock stars most likely to die within a year." He was on top of that list for many years. Well, good old Keith has survived many of his supposedly healthier peers already.

Nothing much happened on the Keisse front after Rotterdam, as Iljo dropped his lawsuit and decided not to go to Bremen. In an interview with Sporza he said he never wanted a war with UCI. Pat McQuaid on the other hand was quoted as saying lawyers are "wrecking the sport." But is it surprising that people go to lawyers, when their livelihood is at stake and their cases drag on forever? The most revealing part of the McQuaid statement was that he stated, "Unlike others, ...UCI cares about doping" and then added "I know nothing about the Keisse issue." Nothing except that he is determined to keep Keisse out because he thinks the man is guilty?

McQuaid, a former racer and team director. Does he know something we don't?

Sporza also reported that Belgian star Philippe Gilbert rode his bicycle at 119 km/h (74 mph) during a retreat in the Spanish resort of Palma de Mallorca. Gilbert did this by drafting his team car. Hopefully he was wearing a helmet and fortunately he did not go through the rear window when the car had to brake. Ullrich, the man who did go through a car window in 2005, was in the news too recently, when he reported to be feeling better and "cured from his burnout." Still he is not considering a comeback, instead preferring to "concentrate on the birth of his child."

Three day weekends means long rides and on Saturday we rode for 3 hours in Marin. Yesterday I took out the mountain bike and went on a two hour ride through Redwood park. It was very muddy and I was dabbling along when a cyclo-crosser zipped by me near the start of the trail. Not wanting to be outdone I powered it up and managed to stay with him until I had to turn off for home. He dropped me on all the technical descents -I am still somewhat freaked after my crash- and on all the muddy sections -he had great technique- but every time I caught him again. Even on the road I managed to stay with him although he did try to drop me. Today looks like an ideal day for a long run.

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