Economic Cycles

All the economics and cycling you could want.

Archive for August 2011

Quotes of the Day

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This from Robert Higgs:

Even Marx understood the economics of war better than the Keynesians do. In the Grundrisse, he wrote: “The impact of war is self-evident, since economically it is exactly the same as if the nation were to drop a part of its capital into the ocean.” Neglecting capital leads Keynesians into error again and again, both coming (to the bust) and going (out of it).

This from Daniel Lin:

If cigarette packs are required to have pictures of diseased lungs, college brochures should be required to have pictures of graduates working at Starbucks.

This from Velogogo:

How long before someone gets “SHUT” and “UP” tattooed on their legs?

This from Ted King:

Look, let’s not kid ourselves, Colorado has been due for a signature bike race for some time now. I feel fairly certain in saying Colorado is the cycling mecca of America.

This from Howard Roark (speaking through Ayn Rand) in the Fountainhead:

It stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there’s someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be the master.

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Written by jlongo12

August 31, 2011 at 9:25 am

Food Stamps Are No Free Lunch

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I was just alerted that the op-ed I wrote was published in the Summit Daily News today. I also learned that it will be featured in a point, counterpoint in the Denver Business Journal next week. This is exciting for a couple reasons. For one, I rarely ever write for myself. 99% of the writing I do at my job is ghostwriting. It’s nice to have your name in lights every now and again. Secondly, I’ve only penned 3 op-eds in my life, this new one being the third. So far I’m 3 for 3 in getting them placed in newspapers across the state. Score!

In this op-ed I take on some basic economic ignorance I’ve seen spewed across the Internet. This bit of ignorance is the typical Keynesian story about stimulating the economy with government spending. In particular, I take on the food stamp and unemployment insurance “stimulus” fallacy.

Here is the link to the Summit Daily article.

What’s the quick takeaway? I’d say it’s this bit,

Since there is no magic money fairy, food stamp and unemployment programs have to get their money from somewhere. That somewhere is productive people — entrepreneurs, employers, employees, and anyone else who created wealth and earned money. Taking from wealth creators to give to wealth consumers does not “stimulate” our economy or make our country richer.

Written by jlongo12

August 26, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Posted in economics

“Rist Canyon Road Race” Race Report

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Man that’s a lot of R’s in the title.

The Rist Canyon road race is a 66.8 mile race up in Fort Collins with around 6,000 feet of climbing. It gets its name from the big 10 mile climb up Rist Canyon. Unfortunately for us climbers, the big climb happens really early on in the race, around 10 miles in. My confidence was a bit shaky going into the race I must admit. I had a really awful Salida road race with some terrible stomach issues just a couple weekends back. Then I had extremely sore legs last Sunday for the team’s annual Copper Triangle ride. Getting my recovery and nutrition right has been difficult the last month or so. I have really good days and really bad days with no decipherable way to forecast either. So for this race, I had to fall back on the tried and true, “eat as much junk food as possible the 2 days prior” recovery technique. I basically stuffed my face with as many good and bad carbs as I could. I hoped this would bring me a good legs on race day.

Thankfully, I was right. I had good legs. We pulled up to the line at 9am with a big group of racers in our category. At the time, it looked like 50 racers to me. Later on I found out we had 62 guys in our group. What a great turnout! The only Primal racers however were Neider and I. (We missed you Alex!) The roll out was really strange. The cat 3’s were supposed to take off 5 minutes before us, but when they went off at 9am, we were sent literally 3 seconds after. The race official blew the whistle for the 3’s, then waved us on through as well. We all kind of looked at each other confused. Some guys went as told, others stood their ground wondering what was going on. The race official insisted that we go NOW, so we all went – hot on the heels of the group that was supposed to be well out in front of us. We knew there would be a neutral roll out, but since we were so close to the 3’s, we had to slow it down and remain neutral for the first 5 or 6 miles. We hit the first climb of the day called Bingham Hill around mile 7 and finally it seemed we were allowed to race each other.

Bingham Hill was a short prelude to the monster Rist Canyon climb. It was just enough to put a little sting in the legs. Neider and I had good position in the front of the pack. For awhile there, I was sitting second wheel behind a Velo One guy. We finally made our turn onto the big climb. A guy in an anonymous white jersey took to the front and set a harsh TEMPO pace. We strung out into single file and I sort of dangled in the top 5, both in the line and on the side of it. The pace was tough at first, but manageable. Neider was right up there with me. Eventually, he took up post in 2nd or 3rd position with me right behind. After awhile my breathing became labored. I didn’t have much leg fatigue but each time the pace upped or we hit a steep section, my heart rate jumped and my lungs began to implode. I could feel I was losing it. This was not good. Several miles into the climb I hit a bad patch. I almost popped but fought my way back into the line. I knew I was coming undone but could do nothing about it. I hoped that the pace would ease as we got closer and closer to the top but it didn’t. The guy in the white kept hammering away on the front like Chris Anker Sorensen softening up the field for Andy.

Around 2/3rds of the way up, I imploded. On one steep roller I hesitated between sitting and standing, just long enough to lose a few spots in the line. It put me immediately on the defensive and I was forced to stand and hammer my way back to the group. It was too much. My lungs were bursting and I was spitting all over my handlebars and top tube. I exploded and sat back down to limit my losses. Like an eery replay of Dead Dog, Neider exploded just seconds after I did. I rode up to him and said his name. Although I can’t be sure that what I said sounded anything like his name. It may have just sounded like, “Neehhhhrrrr.” Dribble. Snot. Spit.

I rode TEMPO for a bit to get my breath back. As we came upon the feed zone I felt better. I was with a couple guys from Pro Peloton, a local Fort Collins bike shop. I knew that I should stick with these guys for the super fast descent. I wanted to follow riders who knew the good lines while going near 60 mph. I looked back hoping to see Neider but he was out of sight. We rolled over the top together with one other guy. The descent was fast, but nowhere near the 60+ mph I hit back in 2009. This time around, my speed topped off at a measly 56 mph. WEAK SAUCE. Anyway, we worked really well together. We each took around 1 to 2 minute pulls at the front for the next 25 miles or so. The scenery was absolutely beautiful at this point in the race. We were twisting and turning through the gorgeous Fort Collins canyons. I was in awe.

While working with these guys I noticed something. Every time the road would tilt up, my perceived exertion would go down and theirs would go up. It was clear to me that I was the best climber in our little group. I knew that if I continued to eat and drink well, I should be able to take off at the first big reservoir roller. We picked up another guy right before we hit the reservoir.

We hit the first HUGE 14% reservoir roller at mile 50. I felt great so I took off and never looked back. I knew there were 2 more rollers and the final climb back over Bingham Hill to go. These climbs would give me the advantage I’d need to hold off my chase-mates for the final 15 miles. I got a good sized gap on the first roller and stretched my lead out on the second one. I kept going with my head down. I rarely looked back in those final 15 miles. When I got within 2 miles of the finish I took a good hard look back. I was in the final stretch of road leading into Old Town Fort Collins. I could not see anyone behind me. Still I pressed on and finished strong.

I finished 13th. I ended up putting almost a minute into the next chaser.

For as disappointed as I was with the result and for getting dropped on the climb, I learned something really great about myself. I learned that I could size up my competitors and act on that information successfully. That I could formulate a plan on the road and execute it. I learned that I could hold off a group of chasers for a long time precisely because I knew the terrain would work to my advantage. I have a strong feeling that next year when I’m in the front group, I can attack out of that group with 15 miles to go and never be seen again.

Even though my 20 and 30 minute power isn’t as good as it was back in March (which explains why I’m getting dropped on climbs I have no business getting dropped on), I set new 2 and 3 hour power records. My Garmin says that I averaged 221 watts for 3 hrs, 20 minutes. That is definitely a record for me.

I look forward to this beautiful race next year. Next time around I’ll know the course and have a good idea how I can win it.

Written by jlongo12

August 22, 2011 at 11:50 am

Posted in cycling

Golden – Denver

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Written by jlongo12

August 19, 2011 at 9:35 am

Posted in cycling

New Cycling Videos Round-up

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I’m going to run down some of the new and awesome cycling videos I’ve found online.

If you love cycling and all the big personalities that come with it (Cippo anyone?), then you’re probably a fan of the King himself, Ted King. I keep up with Mr. IamTedKing on his blog. It’s one of the most fun cycling blogs out there. Not only does Ted seem like a super fun dude to hang out with, he’s also a huge fan of one of my all-time favorite movies – Dumb and Dumber. I think we’d have a blast riding together. Me in zone 5, him in zone 1. That being said, here’s a fun video of Ted and a couple friends riding “200 on 100.” Meaning they rode from one end of Vermont all the way to the other on Rt. 100. It ends up being a little more than 200 miles in the end, but it seems like the guys had a great time. Next time invite me guys!

Next up is a fun hour long documentary on one of my favorite riders Andy Schleck. This video follows Andy from his off season to this year’s Tour as he prepares to win it all. It’s a really well done documentary with tons of behind the scenes footage. I never really like the idea of being a professional cyclist until I see footage of their off season training camps. It all looks so fun. Anyways, if you’ve got a spare hour, I’d suggest checking this flick out.

Despite having ridiculously expensive clothing, Rapha is pretty darn cool. At least that’s what you kinda believe after watching some of their films on Vimeo. They do a great job making professional cycling videos, all around 3 or 4 minutes long. You could spend hours looking through their discography. But I’ll highlight just one rather timely video they’ve done. The Rapha guys are pre-riding the whole US Pro Cycling Challenge stage race, aka Tour of Colorado. Stage 2’s video is my favorite so far. Check it out here.

Talk about “only in Boulder.” Where else in the country could a business take off that provides recovery services for endurance athletes?? Check this place out. It’s called All Sports Recovery and it provides the whole recovery shebang. Space legs, massage, chiropractic, ice baths, smoothies, espresso, cold laser, etc etc. It’s nuts! Only in Boulder. Really.

Ah, this embed code for the Boulder recovery video won’t work. Check out the video here.

Written by jlongo12

August 10, 2011 at 11:17 am

Posted in cycling