Well I can see that, once again, it’s time for some Q & A in the form of my Eagle reader’s mail...

“Mr. Euro Freddie: What’s with all this gel? I mean, I read that they got gel saddles, gel gloves, gel cycling shorts, and now gel for your internal ingestion! Sounds like some sort of Commie plot to me. Oh, I figured it all out, all right. First they lull you into complacency, with squishy comfort, and then, when you let your guard down, they slip it down your gullet and alter your chemical constitution. It’s as insidious as those Space Aliens, and Americans need to take heed - the Domino Theory has infiltrated our sport! I mean, what’s wrong with riding a Wal-Mart bike in your Levi 501’s? Boy, and sure ain’t nothin’ better than mountin’ playin’ cards in your spokes and soundin’ like a Harley. Yeh, that will sure put the fear of Ol’ Uncle Sam in those pinko Commies!” (signed) Rock E. Road. Dear Mr. Hard 2 Digest- Is there a point to any of this? My advice is to try and keep your marshmallows from chafing.

“Dear Euro: I see the days are getting shorter, and it’s starting to get rather chilly outside, so I’m enclosing a pair of our new AirProtech thermal bibs and a set of Thermax winter booties to protect you from catching any colds. Say, I’ve heard an office rumor about this blonde fly girl over in Marketing named Nikki. She seems a little fast for you Dear. I always thought that sweet Promotions girl at Cinelli was marriage material.” (signed) Your Mum. MOTHER!! I can take care of myself -you know! SHEEZZ! For all you Eagle readers out there, my mother, Betty Freddie, happens to be Chief of Quality Control at Assos Cycling Apparel.

And finally, “Your Euroness: Living on the Continent, as you do, you must have access to a wonderful selection of tubular tires. Sadly, in the States, most cycling shops don’t even carry them. Could you indulge me in listing a few of your favorites?” (signed) Tired of Clinchers. Dear Two Tyred- I have a confession to make, I am a silk snob. A few years back I converted my extra bedroom into a large humidor, in order to preserve my extensive collection of silk tubulars. There are Italian Clements from the 60’s & 70’s, French Dugasts from the 80’s & 90’s, and French FMBs from the present. Often, after dinner, I will retire to the ex-bedroom to enjoy the rich aromas of these select, hand-rolled refineries. Simply put, injection-molded polyester clinchers are for the brutish Philistine, while handmade cotton tubulars are for the discriminating cognoscente, and lovingly crafted silk is for the staight-up aficionado who enjoys smokin’ tyres.

So, until next month, may your wheels run straight and true, and your tyre pressure never dip below 10 bars -Euro Freddie.

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Criterium Corner with Euro Freddie