Not so good for base miles

February, 2007…Just another snow-filled day in backwoods New York

In a former life, back when I lived in upstate New York and still had aspirations of signing my name on a pro contract, I may have found a way to actually ride outside in such snowy environs (or at least bust out the cross country skis). But I’ve grown soft and count my blessings that I spend my winters in North Carolina rather than the frigid netherworld of the Tug Hill Plateau. It’s nice riding outside in February with the thermometer at about 50, rather than -50, degrees F.


Does the name Jackie Earle Haley ring a bell?

He’s likely best known for his portrayal of chain-smoking Little League bad boy Kelly Leak in The Bad News Bears. But to me, he’ll forever be Moocher — the pint-sized Cutters compadre of Breaking Away cycling hero Dave Stoller.

I haven’t been much of a cinephile in recent years, but I’ll be tuned into the Academy Awards this evening anxiously awaiting the results for Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role. Jackie Earle Haley has been lying low acting-wise since the early 1990s, leading for all intents and purposes a humdrum life in San Antonio. But due to his portrayal of a “vile yet heartbreaking pedophile” in Little Children, he’s once again being acclaimed for his acting prowess. Mr. Haley has some particularly stiff competition for this award (other nominees include Alan Arkin in Little Miss Sunshine, Djimon Hounsou in Blood Diamond, Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls, and Mark Wahlberg in The Departed), but if there’s any justice in the world then Moocher will emerge victorious…

…Because I doubt if any of Haley’s competition could have pulled off these sweet ‘cross maneuvers captured on film in Breaking Away:

1. Check out that mounting technique…Not bad for a 17-year old non-cyclist on a crappy bike that’s too big for Haley.

2. Now that’s some fine bike-handling…Doing a simultaneous high-speed powerslide/dismount on a cinders track.

3. Jackie Earle Haley…then and now. And who knew that Barry Wicks was in the cast of Breaking Away, too?

And the Oscar goes to…

[updated] Alan Arkin. Well, I guess a heroin-snorting grandparent teaching a pre-teen how to gyrate like a stripper trumps a convicted sex offender released back into the community. Those Academy voters can be so fickle.

Image sources:
Breaking Away stills: Screen captures from Breaking Away DVD
Jackie Earl Haley:

Shameless Self-Promotion…

My straight-laced, journalist alter ego weighs in on the state of American cyclocross, aglow in the aftermath of the Hooglede-Gits medal-fest.

Pay a visit to to peruse the feature article. Enjoy!

Mooninites & Menninites

Lost in all the media frenzy out of Boston regarding the city’s invasion by Mooninites was the simultaneous, mysterious appearance worldwide of the Mooninites’ obscure, equally angry, and more highly pixelated brethren: the Menninites. Evidently, this disturbingly advanced species of alien being has been sighted afixed to bridges and buildings in locales such as Austin, TX; Solvang, CA; Montreal, Canada; Dublin, Ireland; Aigle, Switzerland; Vigo, Spain; Châtenay-Malabry, France; and Colorado Springs, CO. A spokesman for the Menninite species, residing in San Diego, CA, had little to offer besides, “Explanations are pointless, Earthling press corps. Our culture is advanced beyond anything you can possibly comprehend with 110% of your brain. Just give us our maillot jaune and we’ll spare your planet.”