Sociopaths We Have Known: Armstrong, Part Deux

OK, this Landis interview with Kimmage is fantastic – the most useful and important thing on pro cycling to have come out since, well…probably Kimmage’s “Rough Ride” book.

Here he is being questioned about his story of arriving in Austin for USPS bonding/training camp, piling into Armstrong’s SUV and watching as Armstrong speeds through town, running red lights, to get to a strip club. His earlier comments on this had been that he could see the discrepancy between Armstrong’s public persona and private personality, but that this wasn’t inherently problematic for him. This is what he refers to in the first few lines below. However, what is so interesting (to me) is that Landis is pretty much arguing exactly what I said a while back as evidence for Armstrong being a kind of sociopath: the brazen disregard for what regular people would consider to be completely reckless behavior, particularly for those trying to get away with things that are socially unacceptable. As Landis points out, here is a guy (Armstrong) with so much to lose, who doesn’t know Landis from a guy on the street, and he immediately brings him into the fold.

You were seeing it first hand?

Yeah, there was more to it than there appears to be and that’s fine, if that’s the way it has to be. I never had any experience with the press at all, so I didn’t know how hard it is to actually do what he was doing; to live one thing and manipulate it into another; to maintain a story like that, that was nearly 100% fabricated; to live such an obnoxious life and not even try to hide it. I mean, I’m a guy that he has never really even met; he didn’t give me any sort of period to prove that I was trustworthy; he just threw me in the car and went to the strip club. So this was a guy that wasn’t even trying to hide it and yet somehow the story stayed the same; this guy is going around acting like an asshole and we got another story over here and it’s a good story – he’s motivating people and giving them hope. I live my life the way I want to and I’m not going to judge him for what he wants to do but I know one thing – these stories don’t add up.

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via NY Velocity.

**Update: as noted in the comments below, I had previously posted on Armstrong as sociopath a while back here on BliggityBlog**

Hydraulic Road Disc Brakes: Interbike 2010 Edition

Sorting through the Interbike 2010 coverage (and post coverage), one can pull a few different threads together to weave a more complete vision of the Bliggity Blog ROAD BIKE OF THE FUTURE. In any event, a couple of interesting “proof of concept” type things popped up…as well as the first, full-fledged, market-ready framesets it would seem.

Let’s start with the disc-ready framesets, because that is probably the most exciting – or certainly the most important in terms of reasonable disc-ready bikes getting to market. There are now two bikes out by the Volagi company, which it appears was started by two engineer types who left Specialized. I assume they are in Northern CA as the pictures on their site are straight out of Sonoma County – Geysers and Pine Flat would be my best guess. Volagi seems to be aiming for the high-end endurance/Gran Fondo market opened by Specialized’s Roubaix and Cannondale’s Synapse lines a few years back. Here is the Venga SL model, shown at Interbike:

via procyclingnews.com

There are many great things about these bikes even apart from the disc brakes; the quick rundown would be:

– full carbon construction

– taller headtubes for comfort and position, without having to resort to crazy high post or a riser stem

– BB30 bottom bracket

– cool looking cantilevered seat mast design that probably offers a supple ride

– integrated fender mounts

– ability to run most any size tires without worrying about clearance

In short, you’ve got all of the features that are becoming standard for high-end carbon frames (and presumably this could quickly include a tapered steerer setup as well).

Then, of course, you’ve got the disc brakes:

That fork in particular seems really nice. Would love to know about how it works in practice, as the road disc skeptics usually argue that standard forks can’t handle the torque from braking down at the tips. More on this to follow…

So, what else do you need?

  • hydraulic discs
  • shifting options that work with hydraulic
  • fork (and frame) redesign that can take advantage of the options opened by hydraulic discs

I’ll take each in turn in the posts to come!

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I’ve Been Scooped: Velonews Edition

After sitting on some partially-finished draft posts on the topic of the Road Bike of the Future for months, I done got friggin’ scooped by Velonews in a recent “end of year predictions” article. The gist of their prediction was: 1) (Hydraulic) Disk Brakes Everywhere, and 2) Electronic Shifting. So, maybe this will serve as the kick in the ass I’ve been needing to get back on the blogging track here. I therefore hope, over the next few weeks, to put out a series of posts explaining the various pieces of the puzzle that could all be put together to create the new road bike paradigm. We’ll see…

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