"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer


Em Oh En Dee Ay Why

Sorry for the radio silence...took a few days off to celebrate, be sick, and race. TCW is back on the air...come on!

First up, this piece of news gave me a little flash back. I don't know if any of you out there have ever taken the Megabus, but I am quite sure you wouldn't rates it's customer service up there with Lufthansa...I wouldn't either, and I am certainly not done badmouthing this company to any one who will listen.

A couple of years ago I was leaving Minneapolis after taking part in a charity ride, the St. Paul Classic, on the 11pm overnight run back to Chicago. I'd thought even looking at the schedule the arrival time looked a little optimistic, considering Chicago's morning rush hour. But the bus was over an hour late in getting on the road after making the three pickups in the Minneapolis area, and it was soon apparent that the bus driver was still intent on keeping to the schedule.

Speeding through the rain the left lane past more cautious traffic, he swerved back to the right and over corrected, hitting the shoulder, and began to fishtail. The passengers were all fast asleep in the 3am darkness, and the sharp bump and sideways movement shot everyone alert in their seats.

"Oh my God!" was the cry directly behind me, and I was thinking the exact same thing, as I braced myself to either fall against the glass windows next me or fly across the aisle, whichever way the bus rolled. Immediately, the bus was back on line, and nervous laughter floated back over the seat tops.

"I don't think anyone will mind if we're a little late, man!" I offered up. More nervous twittering.

I tried to find a phone number to call on the corporate website afterwards, but none existed, and my emails went unanswered. Even the twenty emails afterward, sent everyday, that stated I would next be sending Letters-to-the-Editor badmouthing Megabus, and would be letting everyone else know about their drivers lack of qualifications, as well.

Still nothing, two years later, so here you have it. More megabus-bashing, as a warning, in the wake of yet another company causing grief and chaos after cutting corners in safety and employee background checks.


Speaking of flashbacks, do you ever have sensory-triggers? I mean, really strong ones? Everytime I drink a Pepsi from a glass bottle - not a Coke, or a Sprite, but only a Pepsi - I have a flashback to August of 1985. I am twelve years old, on summer-vacation in North Carolina. I am in a small-town, southern, dusty corner-store, the kind with that old Mello-Yello sign and an ancient black man with a crumpled hat out front. It's early evening, and I'm waiting for my father to come down to the theater for pre-show prep. Outside is a colorful sky, roiling on the front end of an evening storm, making the leaves whisper and chatter. I've put a quarter in a rusty soda machine and received my prize through a small glass door. As that peppery, raspy, sugary goodness touches my lips, the cool breath of carbonation blowing back from the bottle will impart this memory in my brain for the rest of my life.


This is Katy's interpretation of cycling apparently:

We just saw an ad for a living will service. She says I need to complete one and not her because she's not the one who rides her big wheel in a pack of maniacs also on big wheels wearing only their underwear and a styrofoam cup on their head.

Would someone please, please, please draw me a picture of this?


Finally, I would like to speak to any McCain supporters out there who are suddenly flabbergasted and offended today that Obama has now brought up the Keating 5 scandal. It is no coincidence that he has not mentioned that sordid story until today. Don't act so surprised.

John McCain is out of ideas and out of steam. He has chosen (or had chosen for him) a running mate for cynical reasons and overestimated her effectiveness on his campaign, while not properly vetting her for liabilities on it. Now, as he is predictably lagging in the polls, he has been forced to unleash her as the pitbull she likes to claim to be. Unleashed to make loathesome, pathetic, race-baiting accusations that play into the worst kind of fears of the worst kind of voters.

Ayers was a war-protester when Obama was eight years old. Yeah, he threw a fundraiser for Obama, in 1995. And contributed a whopping $200. Obama has repeatedly disavowed and condemned all of Ayers past acts. Guilt by association? Fine, then you should have no problem with Obama's payback characterizations of McCain's involvment in the Keating 5 scandal.

Yes, he was sent home with a slap on the wrist and a warning for his "poor judgment" which was all McCain deserved. But if you are going to buy into the assertion that Obama's character is clouded by one fundraiser and a $200 contribution from Ayers? Please consider that McCain received over $112,000 from Charles Keating between 1982 and 1987, and had been a regular guest at what John McCain referred to, whistfully, as recently as 2003, at Keating's "Shang-Ri-La" I'm-the-richest-man-in-the-world boat parties.

The fact is, Barack Obama has kept this campaign relatively clean until now. But now that McCain and Palin are questioning his patriotism, expect Obama to get his pants a little dirtier. She's slinging charges of lack of patriotism? I'm sure an official reminder that Palin was once a member of the Alaskan Independence Party - a seccessionist movement, can't be far off.

And if Obama really wanted to get dirty, he could call McCain's health into question, as well as bring up some of Palin's creepier comments that are clues to some of her hidden ambition. There are persistent rumors that McCain didn't want Palin, and that Karl Rove and Cheney has foisted her upon him. The familiar tone of her speeches, the same repeated lies about Iraq and 9/11, it gives me a bit of pause to wonder about the machinations at work behind this bubbleheaded Baptist - who claims God wants a gas pipeline - who could be king.

I'm always happy to roll in the mud if pushed into the puddle.

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