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Thomas De Gendt Talks Strategy, Sausages and Defending the Paris-Nice Jersey

Here's an interesting interview with a guy who talks and rides well, and seems to have respect for cycling and its traditions...and his team mates and competitors. If his words turn out to be genuine, I could be considered a fan. I haven't followed Paris-Nice well this year, but it is usually one of the first two events I notice a bit each year (along with Tirreno-Adriatico. 

Here's the finish of Stage 1, where you can see Jens Voigt hanging with the young guys again, including de Gendt.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmo4_lJYfrQ

I thought it was nice to hear what I took to be frank, direct answers to some interesting questions, like how's it different when you go to an international pro team:

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USA Speed Skaters and Short Trackers Score Medals, But Great Britain's World Record Holding Relay Team Crashes Out in Semis

I was trying to see if I could get some streaming video going but I didn't get it all to work in time. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow. Check myp2p.eu if you're interested. I'm using Ubuntu Linux mostly right now, so it's a bit different to get it all going. 

So here are a few links pointing to some of the latest in a big weekend for the USA both in the original speed skating (long track), where they skate against the clock and contact is rare, and the more television-friendly contact sport, short track, where anything can happen. (Yes I like the more boring event better when they broadcast it all and I don't know the winner in advance, at least. Short track is good fun, too.) 

Shani Davis is going great and Heather Richardson won at least one bronze on the 400m track, but now the USA has skaters at the top of short track in male and female divisions. Nothing can help skating of all kinds like seeing some USAmericans bringing home medals. 

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Dale Brown's Photos from the 2011 North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Austin, Texas

I received a note from Dale Brown regarding his photo sets and wanted to pass it along...nice shots of handcrafted cycles. 

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Shani Davis Wins Silver and Gold in Speed Skating World Championships; Tyler Farrar leads Tirreno-Adriatico Cycling Stage Race

 

Just some quick notes here to remind that the World Single Distance Championships are under way in speed skating (they seem to like to have several kinds of world championships, ha!), and the Tirreno-Adriatico cycling race started yesterday with a team time trial. I followed the T2A (as we roadskaters might dub it) in past years and found it very entertaining, through territory reminiscent of the mountains of NC as I recall. 

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Great Gallery of Fun Roller Skating Photos from San Francisco

I won't spend much time describing this gallery but let me say it is a really fun look at photos of the type you take with black and white film, you dodge and burn, you hold in your hands, mark up for cropping, and put in the newspaper. I also usually stay away from comments after most newspaper or television website articles, but I looked at these and I was glad. Most were happy. Some were very well written and added to the positive aura of the page. What I notice is what so many noticed, that these were shots of people having fun skating. I hope today's kids are having as much fun as safely as these. And notice how many adults are in on the fun too.

 

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Skater Felt Burning Sensation in Her Chest: After Several Coronary Microvascular Disease Heart Attacks, Skates Five Days a Week

Even if you feel healthy and are active, this skater's story points out that it's important to know and pay attention to symptoms, then to seek attention when you feel an out of the ordinary pain or discomfort. Then after an initial diagnosis, when pain returns, get more diagnosis! At a time when I let a lot of things keep me from going skating, this woman is an inspiration to exercise and to seek help if I feel similar symptoms. Other brief stories here tell how others have faced their heart attacks. 

Heart disease: They didn't know what hit them - USA Today -

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The Simple Joy of Community Skating...And Some Shoveling

I took a break from working on the website and some family health issues, and from photos and video of the US Figure Skating Championships, to read this nice story of a day out at a new rink...in a snow storm. There's a balance of thoughts on the rink and the money and the goals, but really, to me, it sounds like the start of something beautiful in Toronto. Community and physical activity often amplify each other well. If you have a minute, read this journal entry of the brand new shovel and brand new skating rink. 

Skate Across Toronto: The best $9.99 the National Post ever spent - National Post -

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Skating Away With the Cirque du Soleil: Katie Ketchum Rolls and Balances in Buffalo, Tehachapi and Manhattan

I found the link to this article pondering about do what you love and all that over on an inline instruction email list, and they were joking about running away with the circus, so I should credit them for the idea of my title, too! I never found any video of Katie Ketchum in Cirque du Soleil, but I found two nice ones of her burning up with some sweet style on one of her favorite indoor street courses...She seems to focus on intricate, precise landings, but can pop a spin (see 0:52 or so). Mostly though it's less rotational and more flowing moves with stylish finishes...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icfC53VJ7pE

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Cool Ten Year Old Inline Skater Tommy Hoggan from Kirkcaldy, Scotland, Spins and Flips the Street Courses of the United Kingdom

What is it about a young kid only skating for twenty percent of his life that can fascinate and inspire? Maybe it's the low center of gravity, little awareness of pain, and ability to spin without expelling previously ingested appetizers? I don't know, but as much as I love road skating and find most street and vert performances to be a bit repetitive, I enjoyed watching this young Scot hit the ramps. Here's a bit of viddy with more available. If you only look at a few seconds, start at 2:30 or so to the end to see some front and back landing spins and some post ramp flippage. Nice! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHAp39F_fT8

In this video, starting at about 1:00 in, he hits a jump, then misses a flip, but goes back again and does it...a back flip off the rim of a vert ramp, landing on the next vert ramp.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8syOxEb7aTw

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Atlanta Becomes a Huge Ice Skating Grid...for Tractor Trailers and Automobiles

Wow. It looks pretty nasty down there in downtown Atlanta. Check out the brightcove link below for the original video, but I'm updating this to include some video of a woman someone skating on the streets of Atlanta (near Georgia Tech I believe, where we've roadskated on wheels), inspired by eebee's posts below. Here's the brief roadskating video of a different sort...with figure skates, no less... 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21ymwfSJYOE

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City Accidentally Floods Softball Field, Calls It an Ice Rink, Then Invites the Public to Skate and Sled Free

There's nothing so brilliant for me to say, except kudos to having a nice attitude and trying to make something good and fun out of a perhaps major mistake. It seems like 5 to 6 inches of ice would make a good start at a rink, and I vote for the Fire Department to come help smooth it out some. I have not been to the local outdoor ice rink but did drive by a few days ago on the way to something else. It seemed to be well attended by teens and such, who looked to be having fun.

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First Annual Masters International/USA Masters Single Distance Championships in Speed Skating Milwaukee WI 2011

This article is a stem of eebee's fine piece on women who are skating Roller Derby Lite for fun and fitness here...

http://roadskater.net/roller-skating-women-old-enough-know-better

...and the discussion, leading to a mention of Milwaukee's 400m speed skating track by timv here... 

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Why One Guy Thinks His Son Should Not Wear a Helmet When Sledding...Not Sure About Other Sports

It's the helmet debate. I read this article to see if my thoughts might be changed. They were not. My thoughts are not based on numbers, but on my increasing belief over the years based on my experiences, mainly my failures if you'd like to think of them that way, but I think they were accidents far less under my control than I believed only seconds before, all in apparently very safe conditions. This doesn't make me right, but it makes me convinced. 

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Stroller Skating For Those Who Can Not Be Away From Their Babies Long Enough to Skate Laps

I'm glad to support specialized exercising opportunities, since I engage in a fringe sport, but sometimes I simply fail to understand. I do understand wanting to skate with your child, if they're on skates and you are too, and they are skating and not tethered to you.

I'm not sure what seems so great about skating while pushing a stroller. Certainly this is not an experience the child would see as any different, so it is for the parent. That's not bad, as long as it's safe, and that's not up to me to decide. So I support it but don't get it. 

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Shani Davis Wins U.S. Long Track Speed Skating Allround with Second Place in Rare 10000-Meter Skate

Shani Davis showed his speed at all distances this weekend as he won the all around for the U.S. Long Track National Championships in speed skating. In his first 10k (10,000-meter) in two years, he managed second place, seven seconds out. Davis had already won the 1500-meter. Davis hopes to give it a go in Calgary for the World Championships Allround too. But long distances are not easiest for him, he says:

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