The Onion On My Internet Belt

Posts tagged ‘TdF’

Summer Stuff, TdF, and the mix for 7-31-17

Oh! Hello. I didn’t think anybody would be around. Just popping in… can’t stay long (checks watch, looks towards door)…

My world in July is dominated by the Tour de France. I built a mix on the topic and I figured I had better post it in July or else… well, I don’t know. But I’m sure it’s bad, like getting a visit from The Flat Tire Fairy or something equally as miserable.

Other thoughts:
-Summers as an adult are disappointing.
-Having a stereo in a work space (in my case, the garage) is great.
-My ratio of being a groomsman to being a pallbearer is getting uncomfortably close to 1:1. I prefer the former to the later but will gladly serve in any way I can if asked. That is what friendship and family are about.
-Does anyone else not see someone post on Social Media for a couple weeks and start to get worried that something bad has happened? I mean, how would you know, right?
-It is more fun to take pictures than to do the work to create a working archive of those pictures.
-For my money, the picture below (taken at the 2017 Back to the Fifties at the MN State Fairgrounds) is the absolute peak of things I want in terms of automobile wishes.

1959 Cadillac in Seafoam

1959 Cadillac in sea foam green (swoon)

Listen to and/or download this podcast! The Funkomaticjamatron Presents… originally mixed the week of 7.31.17

NOTE: New “The Funkomaticjamatron Presents…” podcasts are generally posted on Fridays. The show archives are around ten shows deep. Beyond that, if the link isn’t active, the mix has been deleted to make way for new material.

Song – Artist – Album
Theme for Velodrome – The Chemical Brothers – Theme for Velodrome single.
III/4 – Phantom Heart Brother – Pete Namlook & Klaus Schulze featuring Bill Laswell – The Evolution of the Dark Side of the Moog.
Bad Radio (ft Tunde Adebimpe) – Leftfield – Alternative Light Source.
Mind Of A Beast – The Glitch Mob – Love Death Immortality.
Ren 2 – Photek – Animatrix: The Album.
Accelerate (Rat Race Mix) – Skin Up – Big Hard Disk Vol 1.
Full Throttle – The Prodigy – A Life Less Ordinary.
Red Zone – Robert Miles – Dreamland.
Hypnomania (Head Trip Mix) – LaTour – Hypnomania 12” single.
On The Road (Vocal Mix) – Alex Armes, Sam Stizer & Thomas Penton – Mixtape: Future Funk.
This Race (Moscow 061027) – Underworld – Collected Live & B-Sides.
Tour de France – Kraftwerk – Tour de France.

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The Tour, THE TOUR!, and The Mix for 7-11-14

Well Loyal Readers, I’m in my third week at the new job. I’ve got to admit that going back to not knowing anything (especially after knowing everything in the old department) is a little upsetting. That being said the new challenges are good, the folks are pleasant, and the change in overall pace is very welcome. I haven’t been posting much on social media because I’m too busy learning new stuff.

To non-work news; My Tour de France mania, like b.b. gun mania at Christmas knows no bounds. Stage 5 (two days ago) on the cobbles was nerve wracking to watch and incredibly exciting. There have been a couple notable crashes in Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome who both had to abandon but that makes the whole race unpredictable and that much more fun to watch. I’ve got a fantasy cycling league going on if anyone wants to join!

In the mail this last week I received my Dexcom G4 continuous glucose monitor. I haven’t brought myself to the point of using it yet but I am hoping to make the jump this weekend. It’s hard to explain the mix of hope, weight, fear, and something like wonder I feel when considering how my life could change with the use of this machine. I guess we’ll see shortly.

I’m short on time so let’s get to the music, shall we? Listen to and/or download this show! The Funkomaticjamatron Presents… originally mixed the week of 7.11.14

NOTE: New “The Funkomaticjamatron Presents…” mixes generally post on Fridays. The show archives are generally ten shows deep. Beyond that, if the link isn’t active, the mix has been deleted to make way for new material.

Song – Artist – Album
Empires (Nosaj Thing Remix) – STS9 – Peaceblaster (The New Orleans Make It Right Remixes).
Eyes on Fire (Zeds Dead Remix) – Blue Foundation – Eyes on Fire single.
First Contact (Instrumental) – Amp Live & Eligh – Therapy at 3.
Eyesdown (ARP 101 Remix) – Bonobo – Black Sands Remixed.
Low Blow – Caspa – Everybody’s Talking Nobody’s Listening.
System – Loefah – Derty Rutten Clutter.
Clear Skys – Amon Tobin – SSX.
Solar Sailer (Remixed By Pretty Lights) – Daft Punk – TRON: Legacy Reconfigured.
The Changeling – Phutureprimitive – Kinetik.
Drive It Like You Stole It – The Glitch Mob – Drink The Sea.
Shock Doctrine (Eskmo Remix) – STS9 – Peaceblaster (The New Orleans Make It Right Remixes).
Play for Real (Left/Right & Digital Pizza Remix) – The Crystal Method – Play for Real (feat. The Heavy) EP.
Rez (Bassnectar Remix) – Underworld – Rez (Bassnectar) single.

Thoughts on Watching the Tour

I’m a fan of professional cycling. Every July I join the ranks of Those Obsessed With Sports when I tune in for the Tour de France (TdF from here on in). While I enjoy it, I bring some guilt to the table about that enjoyment.

Let me start by admitting a few things. First, yes, I do watch the live streaming coverage and that coverage is broadcast while I am at work. Back in about 2004 just the audio section of the broadcast was available and it was free. Streaming audio (the equivalent of listening to music, right?) isn’t a big deal. That set up has since ballooned into live video coverage that lasts for about two and a half hours and costs $30 for the month. I’ve got no qualm paying for the service since I’m not able to sit down at home during the prime time hours and absorb the coverage, both because I have a 4 year old son to mind and because the commercials in prime time coverage are lame, repetitious, and copious. I still mainly listen rather than watch the coverage. Like all sports coverage, if the pitch of the announcement changes, you better start paying attention. It’s really just the last 5-10km that require attention. As luck would have it I have the kind of job that allows me to pay attention to TV for thirty minutes of my mornings during July all while not interrupting or interfering with the work that needs doing. This luxury is not lost on me but it does make me feel a little guilty. Yes, my boss knows. Yes, my employees know. No one seems upset but me.

Second, yes, the sport has a really nasty and undeniably tarnished record over the last twenty years. There is no other world class sporting event to have so many winners disqualified for drug use in such a short time and remained viable if there has ever been an event to have so many top honors revoked at all. From 1993 to 2013, half of the winners of TdF have been disqualified for doping (Lance Armstrong lost his 7 wins, Alberto Contador lost his 2010 win, Floyd Landis lost his 2006 win, and Bjarne Riis admitted to doping in his 1996 win). It makes perfect sense that fans would be skeptical (and that is putting it kindly) of any rider winning these days. Is the peloton clean now? I don’t know but I think the emergence of clean teams like Highroad and Slipsteam, as well as the much improved biological passport, are finally making inroads to a cleaner sport. That being said, drugs are part of the TdF legacy. British rider Tom Simpson died on the slopes of Mount Ventoux during 1967s TdF due to drugs. Riders in the 1920’s routinely used a wicked cocktail of then legal drugs (like cocaine) to endure the event. These are not justifications but a matter of putting the culture and how hard it is to change in perspective. It’s hard to enjoy the spectacle when there are such fresh scars and such skeletons in the collective closet.

Third, cycling is the NASCAR of Europe. Those guys are wearing ads all over their clothes and are on millions of TVs for many hours at a stretch. Winning a stage of the ride comes with a hefty purse, about 8,000 euros. Winning a jersey classification (such as best young rider or King of the Mountains) comes with a 25,000 euro prize. The best overall rider, the winner of the General Classification’s (the GC, or yellow jersey wearer) take is 1 million euros. With those numbers on the table it is not so hard to see why riders are willing to dope and why team directors may encourage it.*

How is it then with the three points above so well-known and so undeniable that I can find such joy in the event? Well, sometimes I don’t. The political tumult that goes with any decision from the UCI (the world governing body of cycling) is rough. Sorting out what press coverage is reliable from what isn’t is a chore (the TdF was founded by a newspaper and to this day remains about flashy headlines). And, fundamentally, watching heroes be slain isn’t so great.

But almost all of that fades out to white noise when I think of those guys+ sprinting like rockets for the line or digging into some deep well of calm while suffering up slopes in the Pyrenees because I also like to ride my bike. I’ve never suited up in football pads, dunked a basketball, played anything beyond pond hockey, nothing that registers as a pro activity. But I have ridden my bike a lot. Ridden fast, ridden far, raced against no one but the clock and my own time. Been wrung up on climbs and felt justified in the suffering when I get home. Those are sensations that I intimately understand.

I rode my first metric century (100km/62 miles) in 1988 while in junior high. I rode it on my sister’s red Bridgestone 400. I then got my own Trek 420 (black, white, green and blue), and then in high school a Cannondale R600. Now I ride a Bianchi Via Nirone with more than a couple custom features. I’ve ridden more metric centuries than I can remember and did a standard century (100 miles) this year.

That's right, 103 miles in just under 7 hours.

Photo of the trusty cyclocomputer at the end of the Woebegone Century

One summer I set up my own time trial course of about 16 miles and could clear it in just under 50 minutes. I did that same route just about every day for two months. I’ve barfed in the ditch twice from over exertion. I’ve hit the deck on sketchy corners and by forgetting to clip out of my pedals. I’ve had uncountable chain ring tattoos and currently have the quintessential biker tan. I love the TdF because I love riding my bike and when those guys are out there suffering, I can understand their pain, and when they are full of joy, I can taste that too. I just don’t think there is any other sport that is so accessible and so personal. That keeps me coming back.

*Those prize amount numbers are from the 2012 TdF.
+ I’m a fan of women’s cycling too, as evidenced by my being the team photographer for the last few years for the http://www.flickr.com/photos/collegiateallstars/ Collegiate Allstar team at the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Sadly there is no women’s equivalent of the TdF.