Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted and that’s just shear laziness. I’ve had lots of things going on but for me to just not post has been shameful. I’ve had a good excuse for not riding but not for posting.

Where have I been? Mainly recuperating. For those that missed it, I suffered a serious crash back on Ride 23 that left me hurting for a while. I was very lucky to not break my collar bone which would have kept me out longer. As it turns out, my knee is what has caused me the most problems. I must have hit it much, much harder than I remembered and it’s taken a full month for the soreness to go away. The scrapes on my knee and shin are still healing, and a little sore, but not preventing me from riding. I replaced both tubes yesterday (one needed it because of the patch I put on it back on Ride 21 and 1/3) and gave the bike a good look over in preps for rides this week. With that, I’m all out of excuses to get back in the saddle.

So, what’s gone on in the month I’ve been away?

Carlos Sastre wins the Tour De France. I watched most of the stages, as I always do, and found myself really cheering for the American teams Garmin-Chipotle and Columbia. While most of the riders on those two teams aren’t American, I’m glad to see American teams doing well. We did have American riders like George Hincappie, Christian Vandevelde, and Danny Pate ride well but the teams as a whole did very well. Mark Cavendish looked unbeatable in the finishing sprints. Even though there were six riders with a shot at the GC win with five stages to go, I found there to not be as much excitement and drama as in years past. That doesn’t seem right but that’s how I felt. I often wondered why there wasn’t a rider breaking the tour wide open in the mountains like we used to see. I think it’s because of the drug crackdown. With the increased testing and attention given to doping, I think we saw a leveling of the field this year that we haven’t seen in a while. Sure, there were 2 or 3 riders booted for doping, and there may have been some that weren’t caught, but I think the message may be finally getting through to the riders. No sport will ever be totally clean because there’s somebody out there with the low moral standards that will do anything to win but I think this year’s tour was a step in the right direction.

American Chris Horner and German Andreas Kloden sign with Astana. Following the exclusion of Astana from Le Tour this year, Team Manager Johann Bruyneel was hard at work re-signing riders for the 2009 season. The signing of Horner and Kloden puts nine of its current riders under contract for next year. Although they didn’t participate in the tour, Astana still racked up 28 victories this season and is the leader in the Pro Tour team classification.

Lance Armstrong registers for the Leadville 100. Apparently Lance Armstrong will race in the 100 mile mountain bike event on August 9th. The Leadville 100 is held in Leadville, Colorado and is a 50 mile out-and-back course that takes place entirely above 9,000 ft in elevation. The turnaround point, and highest point of the race, is the Columbine Mine Aid Station at 12,600 ft. Most of the course is back country dirt roads with some paved sections.

Cycle Pig starts his epic tour of Europe. Mr. and Mrs. Pig started their six week Tour of Europe through the Alps and Pyrenees. You can follow their progress by reading the posts and GPS tracker on his blog, CyclePig. Good luck Pigs and keep it safe.

Arlyn over at Adventures on a Bike wins Stage 19 of The Tour de France. No, it wasn’t the actual stage but he did win on the stage before the peloton rolled through. It’s a great story you should read.

Chris of The Tour de Chris wins the Chicago Criterium. Congrats Chris. This is a great post-race report on how he did it.

Bike Noob discusses CO2 versus Pumps. This was a good post that generated a lot of feedback from readers.

Exciting! Drama! On Your Left! Noah over at KC Bike Commuting flirts with danger while on a group ride and manages to introduce a rude motorist to the finer points of traffic laws.

That’s Hot. Mike over at Mike’s Bike Blog learns just how hot it can get in the Texas heat.

If I missed anyone out there I apologize. I just tried to do a quick recap from Google Reader of all the bike blogs I track.

I guess that’s it for today.