The Ancient Historian

Ancient history, mountaineering, cycling and other outside adventures

Archive for the month “June, 2009”

Radio silence at the Tour de France

The Tour buzz is really getting going. There wil be several news things at this year’s tour. Among them, on two stages the use of radios connecting riders to team cars wil not be allowed. The explict reason is FRench rules of the road and safety. Kind of an odd reason you have to say. I am all for doing away with them since it does affect racing tactics. MHO.

Read the story at

Lance’s twitter feed today says that he think its’ crap, and goes back to prehistory. Well……it ain’t prehistory anyway ūüėČ


Ed Viesturs wraps up Everest summit # 7

A nice video interview of Ed Viesturs is posted on Take a look. Great stuff. No rest for the weary; he’s getting ready to head up Rainier in early July!

Tour de France team start list just announced

Velonews this evening is reporting the team, start list for the 2009 Tour de France:


Armstrong wins Nevada City classic

You have got to be kidding me. Lance, racing in Livestrong kit, wins the race in a breakaway, on a course that ain’t so easy to do that, against a pretty darn good field of young guns. Got to say hats off to him.¬†


Velonews has a great report on one of America’s best damn races.



Photo © Will Matthews

Photo © Will Matthews

The Tour of Nevada City today

event16This is a pretty good local bike race, 90 minute race, or 40 laps, up and down, a total cardio surge. The Race just started 5 minutes ago and they are on lap one. Ive got lots of old friends racing in this. The amazing thing, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner have shown up! Greg Lemond races this a lot. It’s live on this site. So far, Levi is burning up the course with Lance……amazing to watch these guys actually racing this thing so hard. Great tune up for the Tour coming!

Deaths on Denali

While the Everest season was remarkably safe one overall, the climbing continues over in the Karakoram, and in other places and in other conditions. Very sad to report the death of two American climbers on the 13th on Denali. The two climbers were both doctors, Dr. John Mislow from Massachusetts and Dr. Andrew Swanson of Minneapolis. Both were experienced climbers, and the accident occurred in the Messner Couloir. Thoughts and prayers go out to their family and friends. The National Park Service reports as of 12 June there are 1,196 registered climbers on Denali this season, with 339 currently on the mountain. Summit success rate is reported at 50%. Safe climbing and good luck to all.

Nefertiti busted

The saga over possession of the famed Nefertiti bust from Amarna continues. The latest round was made by Zahi Hawass, Director of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, who again is demanding the return of the bust to Egypt. The story reported by AFP yesterday (Sunday 14 June) states that Egypt will soon provide evidence that the bust was illegally removed from Egyptian soil:

“We are still gathering information, but I expect we will shortly have enough to place a formal request to the Berlin Museum for the return of the bust,” Hawass told the Tagesspiegel in an interview.

Nothing in this latest development about the opinion that the bust is a modern fake. I suppose we will here much about this as we build up to the opening of the Neues Musem in Berlin set for October this year.

The latest reviews in the American Historical Review (April 2009)

The latest books reviews from the AHR in Ancient History are:

  • David Shotter. Nero Caesar Augustus: Emperor of Rome.

    By Anthony A. Barrett
  • Judith Herrin. Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire.

    By Florin Curta

Major Phil Packer and El Cap

I came across this pretty cool story today; a British Iraq war vet named Major Phil Packer whose injuries left him disabled is climbing el cap.

You can read about him on his blog

right on!


UPDATE: Phil summited on 11 June, updates and video on his website. Way to go!!

Pescadero Coastal Classic coming June 13th !

Meanwhile, on the amateur side of cycling, one of the great road races is getting set to go out in Northern California. It’s the Pescadero coastal classic (aka “Pesky”), sponsored by the Alto Velo/Webcor cycling club. This is an awesome race, over too tough a course for me. Haskins Hill is way too tough to get my carcass up, but I have lots of found memories working at it. Ahhh that cold coastal fog at 6 AM. Good luck all, and good luck Alto Velo/Webcor in pulling off what I am sure will be another great edition of the race! This is one of the best run races around. Get out there and support the riders if you are near.



Details can be found on the Alto Velo site.

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