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What a week!

Written by Mike. No comments Posted in: Cycling

I don’t usually like to toot my own horn, but after this past week, I will.

Last Sunday I rode around West Maui – 60 miles of up and down on roads carved into the  side of mountains – about 4000 feet of climbing.  I’ve done it before, but it was fun to do again.  Here are a couple of pics to show what it is like on the back side of West Maui.

This is “the Wall”.  18% grade.  When I looked down at my computer, I was moving at 5.2 mph.

This is typical of the back side of West Maui:

Monday, I did a loosen-up ride of 31 up the west coast of Maui.  Relatively flat – felt good.

Tuesday, the third time was a charm.  4 hours and 26 minutes to climb from the beach to the top of Mt. Haleakala – 10, 023 feet in 38 miles.  What a butt kicker!!

It took 1 hour and 25 minutes to come down and I could have easily shaved 15 minutes off that if I hadn’t had to slow down so often for car traffic.

I took Wednesday off to do a snorkel trip with my lovely and vivacious wife Jenny and Thursday I rode 60 around West Maui again.  Once we arrived back in Dallas Friday, I did another 30 mile loosen-up ride before heading to Wichita Falls for the Hotter ‘N Hell 100.

The Hotter ‘N Hell 100 – what a gas!  I took 8th place in the Cat 4 100 mile race (3rd in the field sprint)!!  Did I feel great!

Overall, it added up to 359 miles, 230 of which were spent in tropical Hawaii with my lovely wife Jenny.  Throw in the successful ascent of Haleakala and an 8th in the HHH – what could be better!


We are pleased to confirm that Caleb has committed  to Oklahoma State University and plans to become an OSU Cowboy beginning in January of 2010.  We are very excited about the opportunity Caleb will have at OSU and we believe that OSU provides a very good fit for Caleb academically, athletically and  socially – Go Pokes!!

This spring Caleb visited TCU (2x), Texas A&M (3x), Texas Tech, OSU (2x), OU (2x), Baylor (2x), Michigan and Notre Dame.

Thru the winding maze of schools at the top of his  list – Arkansas (when it was his first offer), TCU, Texas Tech, OSU, then a late surge by Baylor, the final selection of OSU is a good choice for him.  The combination of the very good rapport with the coaching staff, the amazing new football facilities (thanks to T. Boone Pickens), the friend (Jamie Blatnick) on the team, the beautiful campus and the small town atmosphere we believe will provide him the opportunity to  excel.

We also wish to thank all the other schools and  coaches we have engaged along this process, particularly Coaches Hoefer and Briles at Baylor, Coaches Sharp and Tademy at TCU, Coach Hopson at Michigan, Coach Alford at Notre Dame, Coaches Doll and Sherman at Texas A&M and Coach McNeill at Texas Tech. These men and all the other coaches and staff we have met along the way have been very positive and above board in every way.


Michigan Recruiting

Written by Mike. No comments Posted in: Michigan

Has Michigan stopped recruiting Texas?  I worked in the Michigan equipment room for Jon Falk in 75-79 and I have contacted Michigan 3 times about Caleb but have rec’d no response.  He already has offers from Notre Dame, Stanford, TCU, Nebraska, etc.  The Big House Blog is reporting that LB is one of Michigan’s biggest needs for 2010.  What gives?

UPDATE:  As of Friday, February 27, Michigan has offered Caleb full ride.  GO BLUE!!

Check him out at www.caleblavey.com


Thank You President Bush!!

Written by Mike. No comments Posted in: Political

As I get ready to head down to the parking garage and peel the McCain-Palin bumper sticker off my car, I think it is appropriate to take a minute to say thank you to our now departed President Bush for 2688 days of keeping Americans safe since 9/11/01. (I hope in 4 years to be able to thank President Obama for 1,461 days of keeping America safe as he leaves the White House.)

I haven’t always agreed with President Bush, particularly on matters like immigration and federal spending, but I believe he is an honorable man who has stuck by his principles. He made tough decisions based on what was best for the country without regard for his approval ratings, and for that I say “Thank You”. Being the president is not an easy job, particularly when much of congress and all the mainstream media is aligned against you. He served with honor and dignity and I believe history will reflect kindly on how he has managed the war on terror.

God Bless You Mr. President!


Go Floyd Go!!

Written by Mike. No comments Posted in: Cycling

That’s what I screamed (to myself, at least) during the famous/imfamous Stage 17 of the 2006 Tour de France when Floyd took back most of the time he lost the prior day and reinjected himself back into the GC hunt.

I am screaming the same thing now that Floyd has taken his case out of the bailiwick of the USADA and CAS (where conviction is more important than the truth and the rules are changed/made up on the fly) and into the US Federal Court system (where evidence and procedure do matter).

Apparently, Floyd can’t race after his suspension expires (January) until he pays the punitive $100K that CAS levied upon him.  After being screwed the way he has, I would not be inclined to pay either.

That’s why I say – Go Floyd Go!!

ps.  Let me be clear, I do not know if Floyd doped or not.  I would like to think he did not.  However, it is very clear to me that his guilt was never proven – just assumed.  A system where the athlete is presumed guilty unless they can prove themselves innocent should be an anathema to any US citizen.  It is very difficult to prove a negative (I didn’t do it) as is evidenced by the USADA’s 95%+ record vs atheletes.


My reaction to the Utah loss

Written by Mike. No comments Posted in: Michigan

A lot of folks are asking me if I have given up hope on Rich Rodriguez, the spread offense and Michigan in general.

Oh Contraire, mon ami!

To be honest, the loss to Utah was only somewhat dissapointing. Utah is a good team and has a good program (undefeated a couple of years ago – when did we last do that?). We have a new coach and a new system. Most importantly, we do not have the same key skill guys we have had for the last 3-4 years to anchor the offense. We will miss Henne, Hart, Manningham and Jake Long a lot this year and this game was our first view of that happening. Even if Lloyd was still here, our traditional offense would have struggled due to graduation (did those guys graduate?) losses.

These factors combine to lower my expectations for M football a few notches for this year. I would hope we are more competitive (as we were on Saturday) the further we get into the season. We need the defense to keep us in games until the “O” comes around. That the “D” didn’t get it done in the first half against the Utes was probably the biggest dissapointment of the game. Hopefully, we will show good improvement this week against Miami and be ready to spank the Domers the following week!


What Happens Next?

Written by Mike. No comments Posted in: Cycling

Floyd Landis has lost his arbitration hearing and been found guilty of doping. I would, in particular, direct you to the very interesting analysis done at Trust but Verify. Check out the “Our Appeal Brief” and Hue’s Review. Excellent reading!!

A read of the arbitrators opinion and dissenting opinion is very instructive. Significant mental and chemical gymnastics were exercised to find for the prosecution. In particular, the comment that “in the future an error like this could result in the dismissal of an AAF finding by the Lab” is unbelieveable. If this is so, why not in the Floyd Landis case NOW??

Therein lies the rub.

This case is no longer about Floyd Landis, but rather the future of anti-doping (in cycling in particular) in sport. If you can’t trust the labs, who can you trust? If there is no standard (and LNDD apparently can’t meet the standard because they don’t have the manual), how do you know if a positive is a positive? Ask Iban Mayo. (On a side note, who compensates him for the 62 days he was on unpaid absence after the LNDD screwed up his A sample??)

I am glad that Floyd is appealing. I think I will make another contribution to the Floyd Fairness Fund. Floyd’s effort is what is required to clean up the anti-dopers tactics.

Please don’t misread my point here. I am very firmly against doping in sports. If I caught my kids doping, they would be out of sports for a very long time. However, the “catch the dopers at all costs, and if we have a few false positives, that is the price of cleaning up the sport” mentality is just wrong – particularly if you are one of the false positives. The anti-doping agencies must be held to the same standard as the athletes themselves. Only then can the sport truly be cleaned up.


Bonnie D at ESPN is reporting the the Floyd Landis affair arbitration panel will meet this month with their WADA approved technical expert, and will then close the hearing. The rules provide for 10 days to issue their ruling after the hearing is closed.

Is this really going to happen? Who knows?

This whole affair has been a colossul mess and I think it could shake the foundations of athletic drug testing. If the arbs make the correct decision and rule the evidence was either tainted or did not prove Floyd’s guilt, where does that leave the drug testing process going forward? If we can’t trust the drug testing labs to do their work correctly, how do we know who is really juicing and who is not?

What a mess!


So tomorrow we find out!

Written by Mike. No comments Posted in: Cycling

CyclingNews.com (a daily must read site) is reporting that the USADA will report its verdict on the Floyd Landis matter tomorrow, the eve of the start of the 2007 Tour de France. After following the hearing very closely on Trust but Verify (another daily must read site), and having read Floyd’s book, I am inclined to believe he is not guilty. I am certain that the evidence presented against him was so flawed and rife with errors, both procedural and mechanical, that no jury would have found him guilty under the US standard of law.

Unfortunatly, the USADA and its international parent, WADA, operate under a different set of rules where successful prosecutions are all that matter. False positives are not an issue, if you bring down a big enough fish.

As a result, I think that Floyd will probably be found to have doped. I hope he is not. If he is not, I fear that the WADA, in its endless search for scalps, will appeal to the CAS, and prolong this debacle further, and totally drain whatever cash Floyd may have left.

What a mess!!


What a disappointment!!

Written by Mike. No comments Posted in: Michigan

Tonight, the BCS announced that the National Championship game woud pit #1 ranked Ohio State against #2 ranked Florida. What a colossol disappointment!!

I thought the BCS was supposed to be the two best teams playing for the championship.  The fact the Florida has jumped Michigan in the polls demonstrates to me that the voters were more concerned about engineering the outcome of the BCS championship game than properly ranking the teams.  I challenge anyone who saw the Gators barely beat a crappy Florida State team last week, then saw last nights game against Arkansas, to justify how this is the 2nd best team in the country – it ain’t happening!!  If Arkansas doesn’t make a bone headed fumble on a punt which should never have been fielded, the Hogs probably win by 11 or more going away.

It’s clear that Harris and the Coaches have prostituted themselves in order to determine the BCS game they want, and not the game pitting the two BEST teams.  And don’t give me that “most deserving” line either.  If the criteria is most deserving, then Boise State should be playing in Glendale a week later than they are currently schduled.

By either criteria – the two best teams, or the two most deserving teams, Florida is not invited to the game.

One thing I found particularly galling (other than Urban Meyer’s continual whining for the vote the last couple of weeks) was the way that CBS announcers Gary Danielson and Verne Lundquist were actively pleading Florida’s case last night during the game.  I understand that CBS carries the SEC and so it is expected there will be some bias.  But the unbridled campaigning that these announcers did last night was over the top.  Comparing schedules is one thing, and Fla probably did play a tougher schedule.  But to declare “style points” irrelevant, as if beating Vandy by 20 (Michigan) is the same as beating Vandy by 6 (Florida) is disingenuous.

Now it is up to Michigan to take care of business and beat SC.  If we do that, then we will end the season # 2.  If we don’t, then this argument is all for naught and we will have validated this snub.