Thursday, January 10, 2013
I have been digesting this for a while. In reading Tyler Hamilton's (and Daniel Coyle) new book I was able to see how it pretty much went down from a competitors perspective. Yes it is only one opinion but there are many more behind to back up the evidence. He doped. Yes it is awful but that is the way the sport was structured pretty much from the beginning. Doping has been around as long as there was competition. Same as there has been cheating in motor racing as long as there has been rule books. The biggest problem was the corruption within the UCI and the people profiting greatly from it (doctors). Now Lance Armstrong needs to come clean. Not in a "poor me everyone was doing it" kinda way. If he plays his cards right he could profit greatly from this ordeal but he needs to not assume the general sporting public are a bunch of idiots. He needs to man up and just tell the truth so he can move on and we can too. I am sure the controlled interview on Oprah will be one of the most watched interviews in sporting history, I just hope we, as Americans, are not made to look like a bunch of morons by how it goes down. We tend to be the butt of many euro trash jokes anyways. We will see...
Thursday, December 13, 2012
It has been a while but I am back! I had a few trips and met some real interesting people...more on that in a future article...My website has changed from edarlingenterprises.com to edarlingracing.com. I don't know why but it is now owned by a Japanese weight loss company...I completed The Smart Ride 9 and had an amazing time yet again! The weather was stunning and it all went very smoothly. I met up with old friends and made some new ones. the Chic Optique team was ready to go and go we did! I was rider #36 this year and got to start way ahead of my last years #354 starting position. Now I know it is not a race but it seems that Fridays 100 miler (103.8 to be exact) is through the streets of Homestead and Florida City before getting to Card Sound Road (the road out to the keys from the mainland). I like to use the first day to give it my all and go for a personal best. I rolled out at a pretty good pace and got to the front with a few people in tow. I pedaled hard for about 10 miles and had one person hanging with me. His name was Mark. He said he had a few fast friends coming through the pack and figured they would catch us but they never did. This was his second Smart Ride (as it was mine as well) and he had a hard time last year and wanted to push and see how well his training program was. We pushed through Miami on to Card Sound Road carrying a 22.5 MPH average and were feeling pretty good. We stopped for lunch at 58 miles and topped up our supplies. The people voulenteering for this event were amazing! They provided food, water, gatorade, medical help, mental help and hugs all the way! We hit Key Largo in good time and were happily buzzing along when Mark started cramping. I was feeling the toll of the speed we were traveling at so we stopped at a few rest areas to eat bananas and rehydrate (and pee) before hitting the final few miles. Last year the first day was 100.1 miles and this year it was 103.8 (due to route change in Miami) and the last 3.7 miles took forever! We rolled in before noon averaging 21 MPH. It was a great ride and I was happy to share it with my new friend Mark! I got a shower then a massage and waited for people to start showing up. soon they were coming in and Dave came in 9th! Top 10 in his first organized ride. the rest of our team was in and we all celebrated in Hawks Cay resort...awesome place! The next moerning we left the resort for the 62 mile ride to Key West. Our team left at different times but eventually found each other on the road and we had a very pleasant ride into Key West stopping at all the rest stops and enjoying the ride and the company. On our team was Tom R, Rich N, Julie S, Fiona, Justine Y, Robyn, David M and myself. We got to Key West High School pretty much drama free (a few flats along the way) and enjoyed the food and hospitality of Key West. We rode to the pier and enjoyed the closing ceremonies...there wasnt a dry eye in the place! I want to thank all the voulenteers and donors that made it happen! We raised over $860,000! for AIDS HIV organizations and 100% of the money raised goes to the benefitting charities! Look forward to next year!! Evan
Monday, November 12, 2012
It has been a strange year. I have been pushing myself on my bike training like a pro athlete for...myself? I have found riding and burying myself in all things bicycle seem to soothe my real world issues. I am working at a pretty cool shop that gives me some pretty good flexibility to race and play with my toys. I am doing The Smart Ride 9 this week (my second one) and could still use sponsors.... https://www.thesmartride.org/8/pledge/pages/36/ but the really big news is still coming...I just got back from meeting some really cool people...you will see me on their show early next year! I cannot say what show just yet but I am sure the ads will be pretty fun! When I am allowed I will let everyone know! I will write another post ride entry...wish me luck! Evan
Monday, October 15, 2012
I have spent the last few days and weeks reading and pondering about doping in bicycle racing. The use of banned substances is pretty obvious in many sports and I really think I have always just chosen not to see it. Look at some of the female olympians...have you ever seen arms like that on a mere mortal? that is definitely not natural. I have always wanted to be a pro bike racer but never had the influence, mentorship or drive to become one. I always thought it was for people that had real enthusiasm and the luck of friends that have the same working together or family pushing them. My family never pushed me to do anything but try and get good grades. I raced BMX bikes as a kid and raced MX for a very short time being told by my parents to stop playing these sports. Anyways, all the years of watching pro cycling and dreaming of being one would always be crashed by the idea that you had to do all kinds of drugs to be there. I am sure there was one guy that never did it and was fast as shit and others did drugs to beat him...then the real talent started doing it creating super humans that do things that are almost genetically impossible (see baseball) setting records that cannot be broken. It is sad that it has become like this. In auto racing it is simple. People always try and "bend the rules" but you do not build a human body in a shop. I always had the notion that if they just tested them and they passed, they win (as in motorsports) but through all this USADA investigation I am realizing the human damage is awful. Levi Leiphimer came out with an interview talking about his childhood dream to race in the TdF and how he had to cope with the realities of drug use in pro cycling was heartbreaking. I look back and am strangely happy I did not go down that road to try and be a pro in that sport. I hope we can figure out a way to keep the drugs out and reward clean racing. The really sad thing is that it trickles down to amateur sports and bike racing. The Cat 4-5 guys I will be racing soon may be doping and no one is even watching that. I guess it will be that much more satisfying if I win. My question is if someone does testosterone, cortizone and EPO while training to get better strength and comes off it to be clean, are they still really clean?
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Well I did it! The Bicycle Magazine Fall Classic Fondo 2012 is in the books. The weather report looked pretty rainy all the way up to the event so I got a few items at Sicklers Bicycle in Exeter PA to deal with the cooler temperatures. I have a practice loop that goes from Wyoming PA to Harveys Lake and back and hit it hard a few times (its about 40 miles) and was feeling ok about my fitness. If this is your first time reading my blog, I am pretty new to road cycling as I got a road bike (my current Trek Madone 4.5) last September and started training for The Smart Ride ( https://www.thesmartride.org/8/pledge/pages/36/ )and my recap ( http://evandarling.blogspot.com/2011/11/smart-ride-8-post-ride.html ) and got really hooked on cycling! I had a great Trek EX8 mountain bike that I had been riding when I was in NC a few years ago but never got into the sport with the intensity like I have now. In 1998 I went for the Florida State Championships racing BMX and led the points to the end (for me) when I broke my collarbone at Okeeheelee. I still went for it broken collarbone and all and it was tough for sure! I was doing that more for my partners nephew who I was introducing to a sport that helped me through my troubled youth. Anyways, We arrived at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Breinigsville PA on Saturday morning to get registered, pick up my packet and timing chip and make a run through Velofest...a huge swap meet! Like a kid in a candy store I ran through it looking for a rain jacket and a few other goodies and got my moneys worth! Ultegra cranks and brakes, a Selle SMP Evolution seat (for $25!!!), my jacket (cannondale) and a few other goodies. Ray at the Bicycling Magazine registration booth sent me in the right direction to get them installed (I do not have alot of bike tools yet) at South Mountain Cycles & Coffee Bar in Emmaus PA...they fix your bike and serve the best cappucino...nice! We went back to the park and did an easy few miles around the track and headed to Walmart for the evening...they allow campers in the parking lot and it is open 24 hours...I fixed my bike and fell asleep without eating dinner DOH! The next morning I tried stuffing my face a few hours before and packed my jacket with munchies to avoid the bonk. It was freezing! I lined up and had a nice warm send off into the hills of PA. Now this event had 3 timed climbs with prizes for the top 5. I did not expect to win anything and i didn't but I am ok with that. There were some pretty serious people there. I started with the lead group and we were cruising along great to the first climb. I hit it pretty good but not with everything because it was only 5 miles in! We were flowing through some of the most beautiful roads and countryside I ever saw. we rounded a corner around mile 17.7 and I tried to go into my small ring for a climb and the chain popped off! I got it on fast but the pack rode on...I tried to follow for the next 20 miles and rode with a few of the fast guys in pursuit. I went to grab a bite to eat out of my jersey and ended up off course. I went to turn around when I realized to look for the signs and another guy wizzed by. I went after him as he looked like he knew where he was going. When asked if he knew if it was the right way as we hit an epic descent, he didnt know where he was going either! At the bottom we called the powers that be and were waiting for some directions as we were pretty far off course when we found an intersection. we backtracked and found our way again! from there it was the best day of riding ever! we climbed more hills than I did in Colorado on my summer trip, one called Hill Road in particular was pretty tough! I believe the 3rd timed climb was at the top. I see my time but did not even remember the 2nd climb! It was pretty tough digging all the way up the hill so I just did my best. The hills kept coming and I kept climbing. what came next were the worst cramps I ever felt! I was using muscles that are not used for cycling to somehow spin the cranks...I talked myself into finishing it with pain that would come and go like waves. the countryside and need to finish kept me going. At one point towards the end they sent us down a really cool gravel road! I would usually shy away from this kind of road on my road bike but it handled really well and was quite fun to slide it around! When the finish came I had covered 99 miles. Epic! The ride around the Velodrome was fun as well! I am figuring out that it was just the climbs that counted so next year I will keep myself fresh for the climbs and not try so hard to make it a race! Well here are the results ( http://bit.ly/UMrLXp ) as I finished 30th out of 130 starters...not bad for a beginner...I also was the winner of the hotly contested 44 year old group (there were 4 of us)! A big thanks to Bicycling Magazine, Specialized Bicycles, Topeak, NOW Energy Bars, H2O Overdrive, Wild Planet, Mediterranian Snack Foods, Giordana and all the people out there making this happen! See you next year!! Evan
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Well since my auto racing career is in the toilet until further notice I am trying something a bit different. As many of you know I have been playing with road bicycles for a year now and decided to do my first timed event. There are plenty of time trials and criterium races around here but I figured I would do something fun. On October 7th I will be in Reading PA for a Grand Fondo 90 mile ride. A grand fondo is an event that is all about cycling and attracts people from all over the country and world. It is a mass start timed ride with awards for the climbs and overall finishing position. I know I will not be very high up on the board as there will be plenty of pros and actual bike racers there but it will still be a blast to be a part of it and just finish! Cycling has become a very large part of my life as it has improved my health condition and made me feel and look better! Obligatory abs pictures coming soon! It has gotten me to the gym and to have healthier eating habits. I will update with results and maybe a few pictures when I am back...wish me luck! Evan
Friday, September 7, 2012
Well the time is almost here...I put my heart and soul into this and thought the LGBT Community would have my back. Guess not. I am selling my motorcycle (2003 Suzuki SV 100 Standard) as I am in need of the funds for bills. It is the last thing I have that is worth anything. An old lady smashed my car the other day so that is worthless now. I am applying for jobs in the auto industry again. Don't make the same mistakes I did. If you are thinking of coming out in sports give it alot of thought. The LGBT community would love to see it and many young folks would benefit but do not expect companies or individuals to sponsor or financially support you. I thought I had a big sponsor interested (a Las Vegas Hotel) but they cheaped out saying they couldn't afford me LOL...I'm not THAT expensive! They want your media and to show that they are doing something but will give very little in return. We have a long way to go. I thought I had an entrepreneur Gay billionaire interested (he was quoted as saying he was going to give his fortune away) but decided to spend what little he does on tax write off investments and politics. It is really going to take a wealthy person to break into sports that does not need a sponsor...I am unfortunately out of resources. I sold everything and put it all on the line. Big mistake. Oh well lesson learned! We still need a presence in sports...especially red state sports but without support it will never happen. This is a huge demographic in itself (stacked on the 800 Billion dollar GLBT demographic) and I do not understand why someone wouldn't want this kind of exposure. I still have my website up for a while and will be hoping to delete this post and say I am sponsored for 2013...
Here is a link to my bike for sale if anyone is interested:
Here is a link to my bike for sale if anyone is interested: