While July is a great month for long bike rides in Minnesota, I find myself dedicated to much more “couch time” than usual. My July obsession: Le Tour, the Tour de France, the big old race around France (or whatever you’d like to call it). While I consider myself the very opposite of the lycra clad, weight obsessed (both in body and machine), Skittle-colored hard-core roadie – I find the tour fascinating. The team dynamic, the strategies, and the torturous rides, climbs and descents. And then there’s the gloomy overshadow of drug use, hushed amongst the announcers, hoping they won’t alienate their audience. Drama, speed, egos, color. So how do follow it?

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I find it amusing that some of my cycling friends have just discovered Strava, right at a point when I’m looking to leave. When they ask why, I cite Strava’s recent decision to shutdown API access to all but a select few app vendors. I had an inkling why access to the new API was limited, and I’ve confirmed it. Now I’d like to explain the correct way to do it, and how to monetize it at the same time.

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Remember when I said I’d never buy clip-in shoes & pedals? I lied. The reason being: I signed up for the Introductory Track Class at the National Sports Center here in town – and they require clip-ins.

I got the shoes and pedals at a store called Scheels, which I would never had heard of if it weren’t for my 4 year-old son’s love of the Choo Choo Bob Show (they’re a sponsor). A set of Eggbeater pedals and Giro shoes were both on clearance, so I was able to get out the door with both for under $100. With the class over, consequently, they are for sale.

NSC Velodrome – A Finite Resource

Our local velodrome first opened in 1990. It is the only outdoor wood-plank velodrome in the western hemisphere. It is also located in Minnesota so you can imagine the weather it has had to endure over twenty years. Needless to say, it is not going to last forever – some say as little as three years. I encourage anyone and everyone in the area who enjoys cycling to at least attend an event, and if your curiosity is sufficiently peaked, try the track class for yourself, before it’s too late.

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A code of silence amongst members of a criminal organization (especially the Mafia) that forbids divulging insider secrets.

With the 2013 Tour de France over, and in light of the doping scandal surrounding Lance Armstrong – I took a dive into Tyler Hamilton’s book: The Secret Race. He tells all in excruciating detail of how professional cycling worked (and probably still works) on the inside.

As Americans, we seem to unanimously despise the use of performance enhancing drugs. We crave honesty so much that we’ll politicize the issue and enlist Congress,the FDA, or any government entity that will prosecute dopers and bring the truth to light.
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In the aftermath of what the Bike Snob calls “Shitstorm 2012” (the doping scandal primarily revolving around Lance Armstrong), professional bike racing is being reevaluated.  Long-time team sponsor Rabobank has decided to stop sponsoring the sport entirely.

Several pundits are now chiming in, posturing as to what the future of professional road cycling will look like.  One of the most thought provoking articles I read actually suggests that doping should be allowed, or at least not prosecuted, by implementing a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

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