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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Health Alert: Central Taiwan Air Quality

Central Taiwan has just completed the rice harvest and now the farmers are starting to burn off the fields. This could be a health concern for cyclists and especially asthma sufferers.

If you are concerned with breathing smokey air during training or riding, I would suggest riding into Miaoli where the harvest will be a week or two later, or going up into the mountains to avoid the smoke. You could also ride very early in the morning before the burning starts, but the smoke lingers in the evenings after a full day of burning.

Watch The Tour

So at stage 4 Cancellara has motored his way to the top of the GC, The Mighty Thor is wearing green, Lance in over a minute behind after a flat and he may never recover. Frank Schleck is out with a busted collarbone. Cavendish hasn't really shown up yet, and despite Vinokourov forsaking Contador in Stage 2, he has now been brought to heel... until the next time he feels the need to get the monkey off his back.

The best part is that you can see it all with a decent internet feed: here

Scratch that comment about Cav. He just arrived with a sprint finish victory.

Mr. Cavendish, welcome to the Tour de France!

New Helmet Blues

AGU (West?) Covina

A couple weeks ago, on the same ride that killed my iPod, my Spiuk helmet strap snapped. It actually broke right on the plastic part of the strap as if the plastic seam just broke with no force. That kind of pisses me off as I was trusting my safety with that.

I needed a helmet in a pinch and I have a really small head. Finding a really good, small helmet is hard enough without having to get a kids helmet, and in Taiwan it is even harder as many Asian faces are wider and they can usually fit a medium or large (so I am told). A helmet that doesn't fit well can end up causing neck and back discomfort due to weight distribution and compensation.

I picked up this AGU helmet for $1800 as my stop gap helmet until I can get a better one in the US next week. My big problems are the cheap straps that feel flimsy, and the liner has no mesh to keep the bugs out.

Cycling Through Songs

After a rain squall in Changhua killed my iPod Shuffle in less than a minute, I bought a new one, and I don't like it as much. Earbuds already suck, but there are the best so far. My biggest problem, and I am not joking, is the fact that my otherwise normal looking ears were actually reconstructed by a Dr. Moriano in Seattle after years of wrestling resulted in pretty severe couliflower ear. The "Hey, feel my ear" game is a great conversation starter at cocktail parties of picking up chicks in bars, but earbuds just pop out.

Anyways, I have it all loaded up and shuffled, just waiting to surprise me with that perfect song to revive a dying cadence. So... what's in the ipod?

My List Of My Last 25 Songs From My Evening Ride (I'm surprised as well):

1. Animal--Miike Snow
2. You Say You Don't Mean It-- Young Fresh Fellows
3. Teardrops--The Proclaimers
4. Tarzan Boy--Baltimora
5. I Don't Want To Get Over You--The Magnetic Fields
6. Thunder Struck-- AC/DC
7. Chain Gang-- The Pretenders
8. Ramble On-- Led Zepplin
9. Bad To The Bone-- George Thorogood
10. Look Back In Anger-- David Bowie
11. 96 Tears-- The Stranglers
12. The Harder They Come-- Jimmy Cliff
13. Right Here Right Now-- Jesus Jones
14. Ruby-- Kaiser Chiefs
15. Radio GaGa-- Queen
16. Peaches-- The Stranglers
18. Cruel-- PIL
19. Saturday Night-- Bay City Rollers
20. Pure-- The Lightning Seeds
21. Because The Night-- Patti Smith
22. Seventeen-- Winger
23. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes-- Home
24. Museum of Sex-- Robyn Hitchcock
25. Sex Pistols-- New York