Saturday, July 25, 2009

King of the Mountains

Mel says her words to Franco Pellizotti inspired him to reach for the polka dots this year...yeah, right, I'm thinking he challenged her to a hairdo competition and Mel declined...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Update on the Godfather

Monday night and the boss is still in OSU hospital. (see story below for the crash report) We paid him a visit right after the young scrubs comedy team had inserted a chest tube. Apparently they were out of the small gauge tubing so they made due with the large rigatoni size. And all was going well as George explained the "cut between ribs and shove, push, gimme some leverage here..." procedure until Mel saw the tube and the container that collects the liquid. She didn't quite pass out, but the knees got weak and a chair was needed. Score: 2 points for Conti. We were joined by Mike Rea and Dan Tinderholt and I understand coach Tom Izzo was in earlier.

George will probably be in for a few more days and he is suffering without the Versus channel. So if you are watching the Tour de France and someone crashes, be the first caller to George's room and win a pair of Beehive socks.

The good news is that with the absence of our gimpy friend, the tuesday night rides are guaranteed to start at 6pm sharp.

Note: if you are watching a rebroadcast of the race at 3am, please don't call.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

George Conti's World of Pain

Cadillac George and I were discussing next year’s team kit yesterday, and of course the possibilities of new colors, sponsors, and design were part of the talk. We both like the idea of a mascot like the cow we had a few years ago or icon. Something to make our presence memorable.

For a team like “A World Of Pain” the obvious Big Lebowski reference of ‘the dude’ might be nice. But after yesterday, I’m thinking we just take Conti’s X-rays and use them for our logo. You’ve heard about the masters race yesterday by now, Conti makes the break staying away the last 10 out of a total 12 laps with the eventual winner. After lapping a bonehead Dayton rider (anyone want to remind us what fat bastard lying Scotsman is now Team Dayton’s sponsor?) who had no business getting into the sprint to the finish, George got tangled up with him after he lost control of his bike (Dayton, not George). I came around the wreck on my way to the finish, saw my paisan and just stopped pedaling. He was getting the neck brace, back board, had one shoe on - one off, and plenty of road rash.

Not a pretty sight.

I collected shoes, my bike, his helmet, glasses, his twisted bike (not the new Torelli - lucky call there), wheels (and I didn’t learn until I got home someone else‘s wheels) and drove to the hospital.

Here’s the AWOP part, since we drove 2 cars, the discussion at the ER was whether George was going to get pain meds. Because if he was to get the meds, he couldn’t drive home and we would have to come back later and pick up his car. George diagnosed himself as having a broken collarbone. His fourth! 1-2-3-FOUR!, yeah, you have two collarbones, and I think he now has 2 breaks each side. Routine x-rays were taken and after about 2 hours got the results. Conti keeps telling the nurse or doctors the pain isn’t bad. We talked about next year and the team, training, how soon he was back on his bike after the other breaks. At this point, the plan was a sling and we go watch Andy race.

The doctor comes back in with with the film and an odd look on his face. He can hardly believe Conti has 6 broken ribs, the collarbone, and a broken scapula. Doc says he has never really seen someone who had these injuries and no complaints. Real Tyler Hamilton (ride with a broken collarbone) stuff here. Boing! No really boing. He has to be taken to OSU hospital for trauma care and possibly surgery. Room 1010 Rhodes Tower.

And he keeps telling the nurse or doctors the pain isn’t bad. “Sure” they say as they give him his first injection of morphine, just like this in some bad Vietnam flick. OK, everybody go into their own personal Walter Sobchak imitation, I’m thinking, “Has the whole world gone crazy? Am I the only one around here who gives a shit about the rules? Mark it zero! ,” or “Fuck the tournament? All right, I can see you don't want to be cheered up here, Dude. Come on Donny, let's go get us a lane.”

My point is, that I am nominating Conti’s image for our World of Pain team kit 2010. It was going to be Matrka’s punctured lung, or a dog running into the road. But now I’m thinking we should talk about George’s face printed on our shorts so that when riders follow us they see, not our asses, but George’s face.

Maybe that didn’t come out quite right...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Asheville = Smashville

Maybe it was the beers from the night before, or maybe it was the vicious attack right out of the parking lot by Mel, but your heroes from A World of Pain were indeed in the spin cycle of hurt on the last official day of riding on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
That's her, Mrs. "Suitcase of Courage" herself, descends as they say, "like a rock."
The ride started like every other with some trash talk and flexing of the big guns. We were supposed to cover some big elevation changes, possibly go through a couple of storms and end up back at the parking lot.
Andy said something about "taking it easy and skipping the BIG climbs." Yep, that did it, Mel called us names and rode out of the lot before Tom could get any chamois creme in place, she was yelling something in French. Mike had studied Spanish in high school, but thought she was saying something about us being 'candy-asses.' Needless to say, we gave chase.
As we topped 6,ooo feet things got a bit sketchy. I think it I was way beyond lactate threshold and not thinking right or it might have been the mushrooms they added to our pizza the night before. Then there was a fast downhill and a road construction flagger. I think I saw Jan Ullrich (with a huge brautwurst in hand) calling me to the edge of the road. Funny because Tom had the very same vision. He acted on it, I kept things upright, at least I think I did.The rescue dogs found Tom at 4,000 feet, sorry about the pictures, but there was no time to get a proper shot.Tom is amazingly back on his bike, ala Tommy Simpson at Ventoux 1967, with no time to spare as the storms were coming in and we had to catch Mel before she got back to the van and left us all up here on the mountain. Mike and Andy volunteered to sheppard us (more like sherpa us) down the switchbacks and through the gauntlet of crazed Germans cycling fans. Sure we caught Mel, and we got to the finish, but at what cost? I ask you, at WHAT COST?