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Old 08-25-07, 06:17 AM   #1
The Weak Link
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In search of Vino

Well OK, I've been wandering around Kiev for two days now, in hopes of catching a glimpse of the Great Vino. No luck.

I don't know why I'd find him here, as he doesn't live here and may never have visited Kiev as best I can tell. I figured it was worth a try.

There are very few bicyclists here, and they are all Freds riding Huskavitchs or whatever brand of bike they have here. I saw one hearty mountain biker who was braving the streets (I wouldn't do it), hopped a curb and went flying down some stairs when the traffic got too hairy. I was impressed.

As Fate would have it, we are staying with a young woman from Khaszakistan. In the true BF >50 tradition, I proceded to bore her to tears about biking.

"You must be really intrigued by Vino's exploits".

"Who?"

"Vino. You know, Alexander Vinokurov".

"Who?"

"Vino, the famous biker who was favored to win the Tour de France this year".

"Tour? Is that like the Olympics?"

And so on.

Next installation: the weak link moves on.
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Old 08-25-07, 06:40 AM   #2
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I never consider the day a success unless my diatribes about cycling force at least two or three people to flee the room screaming. I hope you will take this as inspiration and carry on, comrade.
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Old 08-25-07, 06:47 AM   #3
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I thought, of course, what else at 5:50 am , that he was one of those wine "tasters" we see around here all the time. Sort of like a Bicycling version of Sideways....
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Old 08-25-07, 08:02 AM   #4
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Have heard that Vino is up in the mountains practising his off road skills.
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Old 08-25-07, 08:49 AM   #5
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Now I get it. You are one of those Tonight Show interns who Jay has dispatched to Kiev to find Vino.
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Old 08-27-07, 07:53 AM   #6
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Having failed in my sincere but quixotic search for Vino in Kiev, we traveled on to Simferopol, the capitol of Crimea. Once again, relatively few riders on the road, even though we passed a group of five gents cruising through town. Everyone here has mountain bikes. Behind our flat is a large hill criss-crossed with goat paths, which I believe would make fine MTB trails for the brave and buff.

If I could post pictures (I realize some might doubt my words), I could show you the front of the bike store in Simferopol. I haven't gone into it yet but it is on my schedule.

And, try as I might, iI still haven't found the elusive Vino. I'm here with my wife, so I make this observation only as the detached clinician that I am: Ukrainian women are beautiful, for the most part. For those of you who are down on your marital fortunes, I would recommend contacting any of the single ones at random. I can't speak for their personalities. That would be your problem.

Duh zaftra.
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Old 08-27-07, 09:42 AM   #7
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Don't search for Vino. Become Vino. Have you wife knit up some Astana kit, and ride, ride like the wind through every middlesex, villiage, and grad. Show your colors Vino. We are with you.
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Old 08-28-07, 07:16 AM   #8
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You are looking for a Kazakh in Ukraine? Isn't that like looking for Lance in Canada?
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Old 08-28-07, 10:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Weak Link View Post
Well OK, I've been wandering around Kiev for two days now, in hopes of catching a glimpse of the Great Vino. No luck.

I don't know why I'd find him here, as he doesn't live here and may never have visited Kiev as best I can tell. I figured it was worth a try.

There are very few bicyclists here, and they are all Freds riding Huskavitchs or whatever brand of bike they have here. I saw one hearty mountain biker who was braving the streets (I wouldn't do it), hopped a curb and went flying down some stairs when the traffic got too hairy. I was impressed.

As Fate would have it, we are staying with a young woman from Khaszakistan. In the true BF >50 tradition, I proceded to bore her to tears about biking.

"You must be really intrigued by Vino's exploits".

"Who?"

"Vino. You know, Alexander Vinokurov".

"Who?"

"Vino, the famous biker who was favored to win the Tour de France this year".

"Tour? Is that like the Olympics?"

And so on.

Next installation: the weak link moves on.
Does she know Borat?
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Old 08-28-07, 10:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Brown View Post
You are looking for a Kazakh in Ukraine? Isn't that like looking for Lance in Canada?
Uh, indeed. You need to head off to Kazakhstan. I remember being in Ukraine in 1990 with a US masters cycling team. We were there to race in the Russian national masters championships in a small town called White Church (Biela Cherkov, or Biela Cherkva, in Ukrainian). Russia was still very poor back in those days. you went into the typical corner grocery. There's a counter opposite the front door, running from one wall to the other, and a guy (the shopkeeper) behind the counter. Behind the shopkeeper were empty shelves, with maybe three cans of mackerel for sale. Typical store in those day. Anytime you saw a lineup on the street, you'd want to get in line. Didn't matter if you didn't know what was being sold, you would want it. You didn't have to worry about finding the black market; the black market would find you, especially if you were from North America and carrying US dollars. We went to Kiev on a free day with a Russian interpreter. We had lunch for about 10 people for a total of about $16 US. We stopped at a snack bar and had some juice. Some of us had to wait until the first ones there had finished their drink and given back their glasses so they could be washed...

No, Communism did not work, that's for sure. I'd always wondered what would happen if you took some poor Ukrainian from that time and whisked him off to the USA and put him in some Safeway anywhere in the US. He'd probably think he'd died and gone to heaven. It's just incredible how much stuff we've got...

I would imagine things are much better now, though.They'd have to be.

- L.
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