I liked Notaero's idea of a weekly random thoughts thread, at least until the real racing starts, so here go a few.
The 180 deg award goes to Paolo Bettini. How many of you found him to be an insufferable jerk a couple years ago and now think of him as one righteous dude? Time and time again the Italian on a Belgian team has pledged his support for his young classics teammate Boonen and he's yet to sandbag him. One could argue that Bettini should be featured more often than he is, but still the palmares keep getting more impressive. What a great talent, and likeable guy. Hell, I may even go spraypaint my helmet gold..
I was thumbing through an old 1991 buyers guide of Bicycle Guide and I realized that compared to the cost of living, cycling has remained relatively cheap. There were no shortage of $3k-$5k bikes in 1991 and what did you get? Italian Columbus Steel lugged frames, downtube shifters, chromoly forks, and Mavic GP4 or MA40 rims laced to C-Record or DA hubs all in a 21lb package. Today if someone handed my $4k, in a month I would have for them a full Record Carbon Fiber bike with Campy Wheels in the 16lb range and plenty fast.
Winter riding stinks. I do it, because I need to, but I'm steadily losing motivation to go battle the low 30 temps and 25mph winds. And it's been mild here in Massachusetts this year so far.
Is it just me or is there a pro 'cross race in Europe every day opf the week this time of year? I'm a big fan of world cup skiing and basically I have to wait a week only to find out most of the events are cancelled because of poor snow. And another thing. Why aren't there more events in the snow rich Rockies? The skiers love Colorado and Utah, they'd never need to cancel an event, and it would be nice to promote the sport a little more outside of Austria and Switzerland...