After ten years now of these productions, I’m considering retirement.
Happy New Decade in any event!
After ten years now of these productions, I’m considering retirement.
Happy New Decade in any event!
An even smaller USA presence this year than last contributed to the 2019 Tour de France– four riders to start and three of them to finish. It’s no longer the American experience it once was, but this is probably not what anyone in France is pondering right about now.
Much of the excitement over these past three weeks grew with the possibility this might finally prove once again to be a truly French sporting event– this is to say, that a Frenchman would win Le Tour. For more that half of this year’s 21 stages, the host country was in position for a GC victory. France had its very own “winner du jour” as Julian Alaphilippe wore le maillot jaune for the majority of days– in addition to his two stage wins no less. After 34 years, could this really be France’s time? The end was nearing as questions were mounting yet hope was building.
There’s long been talk of the French curse in professional cycling’s grandest three weeks. Alas, the curse appears to remain in play. We all know what happened, via physical skill, mother nature and all else– I needn’t retell it all here and now. Helmets off to Columbia, of course, where pride and celebration will no doubt make its mark. Still, I, an American, would really love to see France have its year. And with that, there will certainly be three weeks in July encore. Vive Le Tour!
The fact anyone else was paying attention came as a surprise to me. I was quietly hoping and expecting he would make it, and sure enough, he did! Still, most people don’t seem to follow obscure presidential trivia the way I do, so I assumed. Apparently this was an incorrect assumption on my part, as on March 22 such trivia proved to be quite a news story!
Aware the date was coming in later March, I was holding out until today, April 1, to truly mark the record. After all, this is the day the newly designated longest-living U.S. president in history marks his HALF birthday. That’s right– Jimmy Carter is now 94 AND A HALF years old, no longer sharing precisely the same age at which the runner-up to the title passed on. George H.W. Bush, of course, died last November at “just” 94. And in six months, we’ll have another presidential record yet!
Meanwhile, the first lady age record won’t soon be broken.
Countless remarkable images have filled our televisions, devices and publications throughout this past solemn week of remembrance, with history both celebrated and made. Three photos stand out as my personal favorites among all others, capturing rare yet powerful moments for the historical record, each of which speaks volumes for itself. RIP 41.
Commentator Phil Liggett often reminded viewers throughout the past three weeks that there’s no shame in finishing last in Le Tour de France. Of course, surviving 21 stages to finish in Paris is always a feat for any rider. This year’s last-place finisher in particular has shown himself to be the most respected recipient of the “lanterne rouge” in recent cycling history.
Only five Americans competed in this year’s Tour de France out of 176 riders to start. The U.S. needed to make its mark on Le Tour once again, and, well… it happened. While the amazing Peter Sagan took three stages and survived a third-week crash to finish with his sixth green jersey, Philippe Gilbert climbed back up the wall over which he flew to complete the day with a broken kneecap, and the consistent-yet-cracking Chris Froome squeaked his way onto the final podium alongside his maillot jaune-winning teammate Geraint Thomas, the most impressive display of sportsmanship in my opinion, and that of many, came from this year’s holder of that lanterne rouge. My hat– or rather, my helmet– is off to Lawson Craddock, not only the first American in Tour de France history to earn this final designation, but also an inspiring fighter in the face of overwhelming physical, mental and emotional challenge.
At last, three typically grueling yet glorious weeks have seen their end. At last, it’s a very special viewpoint. And at last, good can come. C’est Le Tour, encore!
Le Tour de France is underway once again, this year almost entirely in France!
A big record was broken today among U.S presidents, and it has nothing to do with North Korea. John Adams lived to age 90, and so did Herbert Hoover more than a century later. Ronald Reagan made it to 93, as did Gerald Ford, who for a while became the oldest living former president in history. No U.S president has ever made it to his 94th birthday, until today. Happy 94th to President George H.W. Bush! Jimmy Carter will of course join him later this year.
A few weeks back, while strolling Manhattan’s Upper East Side in the late afternoon, I happened to come upon The Beach Cafe on the corner of 2nd Avenue and 70th Street, ironically named considering there’s no beach in sight. The place looked interesting and inviting, so I went inside and took a seat at the bar. Within minutes as I sipped my negroni, I caught sight of a posted notice overhead that struck me with delight, one with which I agree wholeheartedly. It prompted a conversation with the pleasant lady sitting a few stools down, and we quickly agreed this policy is one to encourage everywhere. In other words, men, take off your hats when sitting at a bar, and especially at a table! Thank you for the connection, Yvonne!
After five years and two months of using Strava to record each and every one of my bicycle rides, finally on this final day of the third quarter of 2017 comes the notable number I’ve anticipated for quite some time. Of course I’ll always say this should have occurred sooner, but nevertheless it’s here– amid all other related totals. And now all I can do is roll onward…
Even though anything can happen at any moment throughout three weeks of racing, it comes as no great surprise that Chris Froome has just marked his fourth win of Le Tour de France. Clearly he’s one of cycling’s greats, as talk of five and more is already underway. I merely wish he were a bit more interesting of a personality; Peter Sagan he is not, after all. (And didn’t we miss him?!) In any case, the 104th Tour de France is now in the books, and next year will come!
Having already said it once last week, now I say it again: It won’t be the same. And needless to say, it hasn’t been. In fact, it seems to get more and more different with each passing day. I’m speaking of course of this year’s Tour de France, just one week in and now paused on the first rest day. The following article echoes my sentiments, as I sit at home:
“As we come to the end of the first rest day of the 2017 Tour de France, the race has been saturated with so much drama and controversy that it’s hard to believe only nine days of racing have taken place. The Tour has lost the World Champion to disqualification, the most successful Tour sprinter to injury and the main contender to Chris Froome for the yellow jersey to one of the most horrific crashes in memory, all in only a matter of days. The attitude from the riders is always ‘C’est le Tour’, and the show must go on. Perhaps those of us in the race have a different vision of events to those at home, but for many here the controversy, the crashes and the abandons have eclipsed everything else this year – sadly even the competition itself.”
Much of the initial wind has left the sails– if I may apply a sailing analogy to cycling. I’ll continue watching, as most of us professional cycling fans will. And, I won’t be surprised when Paris brings us yet another very predictable, unchallenged, and dare I say rather unexciting win for Chris Froome. But wait, that’s one thing that WOULD be the same about this Tour. For all else that’s already not the same, especially after 12 riders lost in stage 9 alone, let’s see what else changes over the next two weeks.
The biggest headline of the 2017 Tour de France thus far is not a happy one. In what many people, including myself, consider an overly harsh and undeserved decision, Peter Sagan has been ejected from the race. At the same time, Mark Cavendish is injured and out.
Barely halfway through the first week, two of cycling’s biggest names– my two favorite riders in fact– are gone. Suffice to say this Tour will not be the same, but as always it goes on without hesitation. Like it or not, the harsh reality of professional cycling prevails.
The month of July has come once again, which of course means there’s a certain cycling race getting underway in France. (Actually, it starts in Germany this year, but French soil isn’t far off.) Starting today in Dusseldorf, here we go with the 104th Tour de France!
This brand-new construction located at 2002 Loma Vista Drive in the famous and coveted Trousdale Estates neighborhood of Beverly Hills, with a price tag of close to $28 million, offers at least one truly unique feature not to be found in any comparable estate– a certain special appeal to the discerning buyer. On this property– not in the new 10,000-square-foot home that now occupies this land, but rather on this land in the original home that used to be here– lived the “King of Cool,” the one-and-only Dean Martin himself. This fact certainly was not ignored in the new construction process, as from water features and expansive glass, to entertaining openness and ample bar space, the builder wisely chose to emulate the classic crooner’s unmistakable style, updated to present-day standards of course. Such nostalgia, including the daily opportunity to channel Dino’s spirit that no doubt goes on living here, is bound to earn the seller somewhere close to the asking price. I simply hope every bar in the place comes stocked!
If this is where you want to sleep, contact me and let’s make it happen.
At a very different point of the day than last year, and in exactly the same spot as two years ago, I’m glad to have gotten my annual look, albeit brief, at the great cycling pros in motion in the 2017 Amgen Tour of California. Of course, my spot three years ago is still the most exciting place to be. Perhaps next year, as has occurred in the past, they’ll finish in Santa Barbara!
Not quite a year after marking his 90th birthday, we must now say goodbye to the truly legendary, one-of-a-kind pillar of “warmth” himself, Mr. Don Rickles. I can only dream of turning insults into a lucrative career, as others will certainly try. Still, no one will ever do it quite like he did.
From my first ride on my brand-new Giant TCR road bike, on March 1, to my most recent spin today, I’ve closed out my first month on my bright new ride at a very modest 462 miles. The thrill remains just as strong today as one month ago, as I look forward to thousands of miles ahead!
Mardi Gras came to Santa Barbara for the third consecutive year!
Equally if not more impressive than a 25-point comeback to victory in Super Bowl LI, is the executor of the coin toss that got it all underway. A welcome and nostalgic appearance preceded the game as the elder Bush couple took the field, 92-year-old George H.W. and 91-year-old Barbara of course, the only living former president and first lady absent from this year’s inauguration. Fittingly enough, their latest public appearance came here two weeks later, a “super moment” indeed.
Among the many, one remarkable first of President Donald Trump’s inauguration stood out, to me at least. That is, a former president attended the event exactly 40 years to the day after taking his own oath of office. The longevity of Jimmy Carter calls for acknowledgement, even while he has more than a year to go before becoming the oldest-living president in history.
The past 24 hours have retriggered similar conversations to those many of us were having exactly 16 years ago at this time. The question now might well be: Will, and should, this system survive exactly as is for another century? Some thought here is warranted.
After three tedious debates, in addition to their countless daily soundbites, our two currently most watched Americans finally showed their supposedly humorous sides– or at least we should say: they tried (one of them succeeding more than the other, as some of us will agree). Now in hindsight, this notable evening sounds all the better when summarized in two and a half minutes!
Dean Martin and Phyllis Diller they’re not, but I commend their efforts nonetheless. If only we heard this sort of banter from them more often, perhaps the process through which we’re all now living would be a bit more palatable. All the more reason to enjoy such a rare occasion, I say.