|Cyclingnews TV News Tech Features Road MTB BMX Cyclo-cross Track Photos Fitness Letters Search Forum|
Letters to Cyclingnews - October 4, 2002
Here's your chance to get more involved with Cyclingnews. Comments and criticism on current stories, races, coverage and anything cycling related are welcomed, even pictures if you wish. Letters should be brief (less than 300 words), with the sender clearly identified. They may be edited for space and clarity. We will normally include your name and place of residence, but not your email address unless you specify in the message.
Please email your correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Mr. Cooke: Thank you for your comments on the Univest Grand Prix. I am sure they are well intentioned, but unfortunately miss the mark on several points. As well, your measure of what constitutes a successful race is taken from a narrow perspective.
Let's begin with media and your comment that the race "only rated regional (TV) coverage". The Univest is a race supported by local sponsors, most of which market within a 50-mile radius of Souderton. As producers of both the race and its TV shows, our primary responsibility is to service those sponsors, and to make sure their investment in our sport is an excellent one. This year's goal was to crack the Philadelphia media market, to complement the excellent coverage we already receive in the Allentown area (through our long time partner WFMZ-69) and to expand the value of the race to those sponsors. We were thus delighted, and importantly so were the sponsors, when we landed an 8:00 PM primetime air date on Comcast SportsNet, a Philadelphia sports station that regularly beats ESPN in the Philly market TV ratings. So we now have very strong area coverage for 50 miles in each direction of the race. We may consider a return to our friends at OLN next year, but only as a complement to the Comcast and WFMZ-69 coverage, not as a replacement. Please consider that the keystone to the success of the First Union Pro Championships, the New York Cycling Championships and the San Francisco GP is their local TV coverage on ABC not the live OLN coverage. Comcast serves as our version of a strong major market partner in Philadelphia and WFMZ-69 in Allentown.
We ran a fairly extensive advertising campaign on Mix 95.7, a new "Adult-contemporary" format FM radio station in Philadelphia with a 400,000 + listenership that included morning and afternoon drivetime ad spots. Mix 95.7 came to the race and did several live remotes.
Newspaper coverage was a big hit for us this year, we had a large pre-event article in the Philadelphia Inquirer and the race results were listed on Sunday. The Doylestown Intelligencer and the Lansdale Reporter (two large papers in the surrounding areas) did pre-event stories and post-race front-page stories. The Pottstown Mercury did some photo treatment. We are successfully moving the perception of the event from a local to a regional one. Getting newspapers to treat cycling as a sport is very difficult work (especially in the fragmented Pennsylvania market) and progress moves at a glacial pace at best. I seriously doubt that your Cape May Star & Wave will ever cover our event or even the First Union Pro Championships. But to say that coverage was non-existent outside of Souderton is uninformed and plain wrong.
Now onto the comparison of the levels of competition and how we define our races. The character of the Housatonic Valley Classic is that of a pro race. Eventually it will be a UCI 1.3, with no amateurs allowed. The Univest is and will remain an amateur race, designed to identify the stars of the future. We took on UCI 1.6 status in order to make the most prestigious race possible for amateurs, not to make a beginner pro race.
Without going into a long debate on the definitions of TTIII pro teams, we specifically forbade our US TTIII Saturn and Mercury to send their Klasnas and Vogels: this race is for the Brice Joneses and Victor Rapinskis of our racing scene. Since the American teams treat the TTIII status as an accounting maneuver and not as a true reflection of their status or the spirit of TTIII, and since none can really field a strong under-25 team, they all stayed home. Which was fine by us and me in particular. Again, in my opinion, TTIII should be treated as Mapei did with their U-23 squad: a halfway step to the pros for young riders. That fits our definition for the Univest.
Your comments on the European riders: we fly in four teams to compete. They are good teams and we choose them as much on their ability to race as on their ability to work well with our host community and sponsors. Where were the Canadians? I don't know. Maybe they'll come next year. Jura Suisse? Good riders, made the sponsors happy that we had another international team. Nice for the US amateurs to have beaten them. The top 11 verses the top 14 NRC amateur teams? Give me break. We choose teams based on the following: make sure that the Mid-Atlantic area is well represented (in the same way that an international race in Tuscany or Flanders will have the best area teams, some teams from other parts of the country and then a few foreign teams to add spice). So CRCA/Remax gets in (I was president of that club for two years and like to keep them involved) as does Toga ("Team Greencard", a great NYC tradition). Both teams have ridden every Univest by the way. Teams from CA, WV, GA, MI, show up ready to fight. So it's a good mix of area, national and international teams, one that makes for great racing and helps develop the regional scene. The US Pro Championships have been around for close to 20 years now and the local scene is completely stagnant, untouched by the race. It's too big for them. We want to make sure the Univest helps local racing by providing an attainable goal for area riders.
Jeannie Longo. No, I did not pay her but certainly will next time. She was fantastic in every way, performance, with the sponsors, with the public, with the media. Jeannie and Marty Nothstein are the two best athlete/spokespersons I've ever worked with. We did cut the women's prize list to be equal with the men's for the first 5 places before tapering off.
In the past we would barely have enough women finishers to pay prizes to and felt that given the difference in the depth of the men's and women's fields, that our new policy was a fair one. As it was, the 10th place finisher was over 6 minutes down on Jeannie in only 52K. A $6500 criterium, with TV coverage, is a pretty attractive race and it is up to the women to show up.
We have over 80 men's teams trying to get into the Univest, the women need to become equally aggressive about racing. Like Jeannie. Last week we promoted the Mengoni GP. There was a $2,000 prize list for women and with 3 days to the race only 10 entrants. We threatened to cancel the race and got another 12 to sign up. Again, the women need to show up and support promoters who are trying for them. This is a common complaint from promoters.
As far as the bits of hyperbole regarding Longo "essential to World's" etc. We are PROMOTERS. We are not aiming at the current bike fan but to the newcomers to the sport who we need to grow. Since the Trans-Oceanic was cancelled, and since Jeannie is in the States training, the Univest did become essential to her. She rode hard, received public acclaim, built her morale a bit. Am I stretching? Of course, but it's true and it is our duty to develop excitement.
Our sponsors were over the top with delight at the way the day went. We had far more media that we have ever had and cracked the Philly market. Two radio stations, two TV stations, five newspapers, Velo News, The Ride, and a pile of websites had representatives there. The crowds were the biggest ever. A fellow New Yorker won, a year after the race was cancelled due to the attacks on our city. I could not invent a better storybook ending. The National Amateur Champion rode off the front the entire day, resplendent in his Stars and Stripes jersey. Kissena CC continued their excellent string of performances at the race by wining the team prize. The Euros got spanked.
Jeannie Longo won the women's race. Floyd Landis came and rode the recreational ride. Marty Nothstein ran the children's sprint tournament. The threatened hurricane moved out to sea and the sun was shining. It was a great day, by far the best we have ever had. Sorry you missed it.
Univest GP #2
From the perspective of one of the top ranked US amateur teams, Wheelworks/Cannondale was extremely pleased with this year's Univest Grand Prix event. John Eustice organized a first class race with outstanding support from the local community. The course is challenging with a finishing circuit that is perfect for spectators, the media coverage is extensive, and the field of foreign and domestic riders is very strong.
Compared to previous Univest editions, which had over 200 starters, the team selection for this year's event was extremely stringent which led to more competitive and safer racing. Although our team is able to successfully compete against Division II professional squads in races like the Housatonic Valley Classic, we enjoy events like the Univest that provide us with an opportunity to have a more profound effect on the outcome of the race. The Univest is one of the best showcases of developing talent in the US and we look forward to racing again next year.
Univest GP #3
I'm not sure what prompted Matt Cooke's comments about the Univest Grand Prix. He does a great disservice to the sport by criticizing such an outstanding event.
Our team targets "Univest" as a season goal for many reasons. It is very tough, well-run, features a number of Euro squads, gets great media coverage and attracts an excellent and enthusiastic crowd. This year, the field was as competitive as ever and the racing was very aggressive from the start.
Events like this are key in helping top amateurs develop and I am very thankful to John Eustice and Sparta Cycling for making the event a reality. Univest continues to be one of the best races on the US calendar.
Univest GP #4
Having ridden the Univest GP in 1999 (in which I placed third and was the first American), 2000 and 2002, I disagree that the quality of racing in this year's men's event was less than in previous editions. While it's true that more regional or even locally-oriented squads such as Toga and ReMax participated, their presence in no way made the racing any less-aggressive or intense.
Furthermore, the failure of D3 teams to attend the event is no fault of Sparta Cycling or John Eustice. Rather, team directors such as Mike Neel, Danny van Haute and Roy Knickman made the conscious, uncoerced decision to stay home.
Joseph M. Papp
What a mindset these crusty European cycling managers have! I refer to Vicente Belda, the reactionary team director of Kelme. Aitor Gonzales doesn't need these cowards. Did Sevilla beat Heras? Not even close. Would he have beaten him if Gonzales had not made his aggressive moves?. No way. Sevilla is a boy and Gonzales is a man. If Gonzales had failed to win the Vuelta or even if Sevilla had finished within a minute of Heras you could question it. Gonzales saved the Vuelta for Kelme. Belda's a jerk to pretend otherwise.
All of these years Kelme has been famous as the low budget small team that could work the occasional miracle. The Vuelta this year has been much more than a small miracle. With financial problems brought about by the world's recession it was doubtful that Kelme would even survive. And here they are not only winning the Vuelta in grand style but throughout they have been the dominant factor in the race from beginning to end. Every member of the Kelme squad excited us this year whether it was Aitor Gonzales, Tony Tauler, Santi Botero, Oscar Sevilla or all of the other hard working team members that made these other performances possible as well as setting a pace that tortured the rest of the peloton and finally destroyed any chance that someone else might have. Great cheers for Kelme and I hope they survive a hundred years.
Doesn't Pedro know that Lance has the "long time trial speed record" at approx 54kmh? Even in a short Prologue he will still dominate (TdF 2002 anyone? ) How can he possibly claim that Aitor Gonzalez can challenge Lance? In a head to head competition Lance would beat Aitor in both a climbing stage and a time trial. Lance is just the toughest out there and unfortunately for Aitor, Lance's motivation and killer instinct are unmatched in cycling. Lance will continue to dominate the Tour until he decides to retire.
To all the Aussie team, congratulations on a huge event!! Were there any other countries there? On a local note well done to the Meares girls, Kerry - 2 medals - and Anna - top 10, magic stuff. Together with Wade's title your results have shown Central Queensland is a top nursery for cycling. Now watch the roadies go, Australia number 1 cycling nation? Yep.
My girlfriend and I have flown all over Europe and have only cheap, non-padded bike bags. My favoured technique involves minimum dismantling so that I can put both bikes together again in 15 minutes without many tools.
Right way up the bike sits foam round the saddle and handlebars, and only needs removal of foam and re-installation of derailleurs and wheels to ride. 'Duck' tape seems to be the best stuff to hold everything together as it's sticky enough to be peeled off and re-used on the way home on all the foam bits. I would love to have a hard case, but £2-300 for a nice one is too much. Also most require rotating the bars in the stem, which would mean either having rotating bars every time the bike hits a bump on your holiday or a large chance of requiring a replacement stem when the highly torqued Allen bolts holding the bars shear or strip the thread.
To avoid damage in my non-padded bag I do the following:
So far I've managed not to pay any baggage charges by refusing to do so, and pointing out that my luggage weight is within limits and baggage size restrictions. After all, I wouldn't have to pay anything if I had a picture frame in the large black nylon sack.
Hope that helps anyone planning to travel.
Box or not? #2
I have used a hardshell case for three years in Europe. It looks a little scuffed up but once I learned how to pack it properly it has worked out very well. The only drawback is that it really is pretty heavy and quite awkward.
When I rode the Camino de Santiago in May, I traveled on some little Air France planes to Bayonne. All I had to do was reserve space. The travel agent told me that there was no rate for bikes but I would pay for overweight baggage at the rate of 10 Euros per kilo. I calculated that my case would weigh around 11 kilos and the bike 10, so when they asked I told them I had around 25 kilos in weight. No extra charge in either direction although the norm is only 20 kilos. In fact, when we weighed the case coming home, it was a lot closer to 35 kilos.
I had arranged with the hotel in Bayonne to leave the case there while I went off and did my two week ride. No charge for this either.
The case was not terribly expensive but I consider it cheap peace-of-mind.
Leslie Thomas Reissner
Box or not? #3
If you fly, value your bike and want to be sure that it gets handled very well, pay the insurance from the airline for an over valued item (airlines are only required to pay up to a certain amount (I believe it is around a thousand dollars) for a single item. The fee isn't much, but the handling becomes top notch! You don't have to fully insure it, that is not the point (although do so if you feel the need). The point is that over valued items get clearly marked and unlike writing "fragile" or slapping a "First Class" sticker on it (which means nothing to the flight line guys), an over valued item is usually the first thing handled, transferred and delivered.
Box or not? #4
I never would have imagined that, after spending major cash on their dream ride, someone would load it into a cardboard box, and willingly hand it over to those jump-suited goons at the airport ? What are you thinking ? I traveled to Europe this summer with my beater mountain bike, and I used a friend's hard case. It was one of those hard-shell plastic cases with foam padding inside and caster wheels on the bottom so you could roll it through airports, train stations, etc. Honestly, I never would have considered bringing my bike without a proper container. I mean, after all, I did plan on being able to RIDE it once I arrived at my destination !
Come on, folks. This is your bike we're talking about. Your ride, man. Show some respect. If you can't cough up the cash for a hard case, then check around. I'll bet one of your cycling buddies can hook you up.
And please, no more talk of crumpled cardboard boxes with pedals and handlebars sticking out of them... a little decorum, please.
Box or not? #5
A few weeks ago I did both UPS and United Airlines, using a hard case. United treated the bike more considerately than UPS, and of course was faster. In the end, no damage going either direction.
United did not even flinch at charging to transport the bike. This may be very agent dependent, but my agent was clear that it was a bike (he recognized the case) and that I was going to pay to take it along. And, it was worth it!
Box or not? #6
First off, I would never trust any bike to the airlines in anything other than a hard case. Maybe if you are flying from Western Europe, where they are more accustomed to handling bikes, something less would suffice, but certainly not in the US. I have been using a Trico case for longer than I can remember and it is probably one of the best investments I have ever made. Yes, it's true that you have to disassemble your bike, but the safety a hard case provides is worth the trouble. I have flown across the country countless times with nary a scratch to my bike. Further, I have flown to France, Singapore, Vietnam, Australia, and Japan, all without any damage to my bike.
Finally, I have found that when using a hard case, my bike invariably makes it to my destination with me (even when I flew to Vietnam and missed several flights and flew three different airlines to get there). I surmise that this is because they load a hard case with regular luggage due to its strength and stability. So, if you have any love or respect for your bike, go for a hard case.
Box or not? #7
Simple rule: A high-quality road bike? Box and pack it carefully. MTBs and bikes you don't care too much about will travel OK in the airline provided box and you might even get away with checking it unpacked....I've even seen quality road bikes checked as luggage on domestic flights within France emerge at the other end in perfect condition.
Background: We've been traveling to Europe from the US for 15+ years. I can't even count the trans-Atlantic flights and various connections over the years with our own personal machines, not to mention those of our clients joining us for our cycling tours each year in Italy.
We include detailed packing instructions (and we'd be happy to email or FAX them to any cyclingnews.com readers) to our clients but remember this: A properly packed bike will travel much better than an improperly packed one, no matter if you use a cardboard box robbed from the trash at your local shop or a special travel case.
One observation about travel cases: the slippery plastic box types are difficult to grab when you care about the contents, let alone when you're a baggage handler trying to quickly load or unload an airplane!
We've found better results with the BikeProUSA RaceCase. Besides its ease of movement through the airport, we've observed baggage handlers loading them. The grab handles sewn on each end plus the sides offer these guys a much better chance to get a decent hold on the bike which reduces the chances of dropping them.
Of course, being a "soft" case you might think that protection is compromised when the baggage handler is having a bad day and dropkicks EVERYTHING on or off the plane! I once watched our double-wide case travel up the conveyor belt to the cargo hold one time as we were taking our seats on the plane. It slipped 90 digress and failed to squarely enter the cargo door.
You can guess what happened next. It spun around and fell off the conveyor and all the way back to the tarmac! I remarked to my wife that if the bikes emerged unscathed it was the perfect testimonial to the protection provided by the cordura nylon and foam padding that surrounds the bike(s).
The bikes were in perfect condition when we unpacked them at our destination.
Am I biased? Certainly! We sell the cases to our guests (at a miniscule profit I might add) because they're easy for us to handle too! Drawbacks? One. UPS will not take them for shipment. They work only when your bike travels with you as luggage.
Box or not? #8
Several times I've been able to get my huge Performance bike case on various US domestic flights by telling the desk agent that it was a "display case for a marketing meeting", or a "special suitcase". Apparently its up to the agent's discretion/mood. Interestingly, Newsweek mag just did a piece on airlines nickel-and-dimeing to make up for lost revenues: no more whole soda cans, 1 olive instead of 2 in the salad, and increased fees for paper tickets.
Last year, Alaska Airlines quietly collected $20 million in extra baggage charges and other levies. Apparently the airline told ticket agents it would dole out free DVD players and HDTVs to whoever could collect the most fees.
Box or not? #9
Thanks, everyone, for all the input. I'm using pipe insulation on the main tubes and plastic aquarium tubing on the stays, plus, as per advice here, I'll pad the rear derailleur as well as possible, plus pad and tape the handlebar to the top tube. My bike, incidentally, is a 2-year-old Hampsten Cinghiale Pro with a Chorus-10 gruppo. The bike is going to be checked Sunday with Frontier in San Diego, reclaimed at BWI, checked a week later with British Airways at Dulles and reclaimed the next day at Rome Fiumicino.
We fly back from Fiumicino on the 28th with an overnight at Gatwick, when I'll have to reclaim and recheck, and I'll finally reclaim in San Diego on the 29th, hopefully with an intact bike. I'll report back with my experiences. I'm going to be riding mainly in Tuscany, where we've ridden twice in the past on Andy Hampsten's tours (highly recommended), but we also have trips planned to the Cinque Terre (no riding) and Lake Como.
Re. Bruce Lee's letter: Mr Lee says that 'In fact, if you have "a 180-pound amateur rider" who is well trained, then chances are he has only a small percentage of weight that he could cut and still be able to produce the power to race'. I am inclined to disagree with this - not that many amateur cyclists start cycling age 10 and then do nothing other than cycling for the next 20 years; we all do other sports to some extent. If your 180-pound rider does (or has done much of) any sport that involves the upper body, then they will have a great deal of excess weight on their upper body, which they will be unable to lose easily because they do use that muscle (a bit) cycling normally - and muscle mass is actually very difficult to lose without completely stopping using it. I think Lance Armstrong mentions this as a reason why he's so much better at climbs now than pre cancer. My case: I'm 160 pounds, and do a fair bit of rowing, which builds up your legs, back and arms (for those who've not tried it). I'm carrying about 15-20 pounds more on my upper body as a result, which would make quite a difference to my climbing if I were doing it seriously.
Climbing weight #2
Julian, you answered your own question as to why larger guys fly up semi - steep climbs and fall down the pack on steep ones when you said "I just can't keep the momentum up". Without giving a long boring tech explanation, the greater the speed and the lower the rise, the easier the speed is to hold. Once you big guys (or all of us for that matter) hit the steeps, you lose the speed and the wheels rotate much slower. Once you reach a certain point, you are not fighting aerodynamic drag as the primary force slowing you (which is easier for larger stronger guys because you spread the wind over a similar amount of space, but have more power) and you begin to fight weight and rotating weight as the chief force of resistance. This change in resistance from Aero drag to weight drag happens at a pretty slow speed (like what you climb the steep parts at. For most folks it is @ around 13 - 15 miles per hour, which (sorry you weight weenies) is why weight is so much less important than most of us think. A good example are the wheels you saw Lance, JaJa (Ulrich in the past) and many of the "climbers" using on the mountains in the tour. Lances were by a company called Lightweight and were not simply light, but also had a pretty deep aero profile, as did lots of the others. They can make an even lighter wheel buy having a smaller profiled rim, but the aerodynamic advantage is just as critical as the weight, because the stages are run off at average speeds of around 25 miles an hour... So if your ride is at a pitch that allows you to maintain an average speed of over 15 miles per hour, don't worry about weight. If it is less, strip the pounds off...
Climbing weight #3
Julian Bray wants to know why a 180 lb rider can "fly" up a 6-7% slope but bog on steeper climbs. The answer is straightforward--power at lactic acid threshold. At a given cadence and gear: the more you weigh, the more power you need; the steeper the climb, the more power you need.
Lactic acid buildup is more like a cliff than a gentle slope. As you weigh more and/or the hill gets steeper, you will trespass over that threshold at a given cadence/gear. Very quickly, your legs get heavy. A small additional effort can send you over the edge and performance plummets.
The solution? First, try an easier gear, which may permit you to do more work per time for a given strength and aerobic fitness level. An easier gear also makes it easier to regulate the training effort since your cadence is higher and your form better represents true pedaling. Struggling at 55 rpm is not the repeatable training experience as when you're in the 80s (or 90s). Second, hit the gym. Lift heavy weight/low reps to build muscle mass, then use hill repeats to teach that muscle mass (and your aerobic system) to generate the increased power over longer periods. Third, lose some weight. This isn't cause for a crash diet--plan on a pound per month to truly target intermuscular fat and other dead weight slowing you down without stressing the systems needed for your muscles to function efficiently.
Climbing weight #4
I was with John until the part about increasing watts from 325 to 365 watts by losing twenty pounds (180lbs to 160lbs). Help me out with the rationale for an increase in sustainable watts from weight loss. One of the potential dangers of significant weight loss is the potential loss of power through muscle loss or lack of condition from the weight loss program. However, if weight loss is done well I buy the fact that the original 325 watts will propel the 160 lb rider faster up the hill (power to weight ratio against the gravitational vector), but not that weight loss increases absolute sustainable power. The only thing that increases absolute sustainable power is better training, genetics and/or drugs. If I am misinformed please advise.
Climbing weight #5
In response to 'J.F.' The good TT riders also climb well, at least the ones who win grand tours. They can go up the climbs and not lose time to the pure climbers. So I would think weight would be an issue for TT riders as well. You can't be overweight and ride for more than 45 min. A track rider can get away with this for anaerobic sprints. But an endurance athlete at the top level can't be wasting blood and oxygen on fat cells.
I'm curious if JF who listed the relative climbing weights could give us a similar opinions and facts for TT riders. How much does weight matter there? What would say the hour record holder compare for North America Armature, North American Pro, and Euro Pro? Maybe the same statements about a 40k outdoor TT record holders.
I very much liked your interview with Guido Trenti (Aqua - Sapone). I also am rather disappointed by the letter than impugns his selection to the World’s team. He definitely deserves to be on the team based on: 1) overall accomplishments; 2) current form, having competed recently in the Vuelta (how many other Americans did so, and how many fared better) and has good current form (even if not as good as last year when he won a stage!); and 3) being a US citizen with a US license. Do you consider Andy Hampsten to be an American; if he were still racing at the top would he not qualify because he lives full time in Italy?
I'm in Australia and congratulate the organisers of the Herald-Sun Tour and Commonwealth Bank Classic for 'snubbing' you for their upcoming races (as per your diary entry - Some thoughts: Australia, collusion & racing in the USA.) You sound surprised that the organisers don't want a whingeing, second-tier bike rider from the States being flown over here (at their expense) to criticise the way racing is done in less sophisticated societies than the good old US of A. I like the fact that you prefer racing at home, and encourage you to continue to support your home circuit if that keeps you away from Australia. We prefer the understated Henk Vogels/Stuart O'Grady approach - no fuss, no complaints, plenty of results and tons of respect.
Dear G. Garner Woodall, just some thoughts. The classification is known as "regularidad" in Castellano. That is what it is called. The literal translation of the word is "regularity" or "regularly", that is the rider that arrives with the most regularity.
Sure we it could be translated as "consistency" or something else but why turn everything into boring old English? When I try and translate things from Castellano to English for Cyclingnews I am often torn between a literal translation and correct English. But I have been thinking that the best thing is to stick a little bit closer to the literal translation when I can because it gives you a sense of how people speak and think. It gives us an insight into their culture and way of seeing the world. Castellano may not be the most precise language in the world but it is full of emotion and colour. Language conveys a real sense of cultural self. That's why I talk Australiano and you American. Neither of us talk English.
Should we call it the Tour of Spain as I hear Duffield call it? No of course not. My preference is when doing the imperfect translations I do for CN to do so in a way that it possesses as much of the cultural context as possible.
Take for example the translation of Aitor Gonzales statement during La Vuelta: "Seguimos teniendo opciones y trataremos de llevarnos el gato al agua entre los dos, pero aún quedan etapas en las que otros corredores tendrán cosas que decir".
Jeff Jones wasn't sure what to do with this but I suggested just running it literally to give a feeling of the cultural context, the way these guys talk and think about the world, even though it may not have made complete sense to English speakers.
So CN ran "We still have options and we will try to take the cat to the water between us, but there still remains stages in which the other riders shall have things to say". What he was saying in a non literal sense was that "we can still get what we want". But I am sure people got the picture.
Remember cycling is an international language, my mate Willo from iTeamNova has been calling the hills of Sydney "burgs" for years, we call the bunch a "peloton" not the translation "platoon" and some call mountains or hills "cols". The Spanish call them "puertos". Now what are we going to do call them "doors"? No we use the Castellano "puertos" because it gives us their way of seeing things. I didn't translate Jose Miguel Echavarri's use of the word "arriba" to "up" or "high" or "in the mountains" recently because I thought it was better to use his poetic term.
So I suppose what I am trying to say is Regularity might make you and I think of a box of laxatives but we live in an international, interdependent community and lets use our love of the bike and our love of the language of the bike to learn about how other people in other places think and see things. Maybe on your next ride, the person who takes the most yellow street sign sprints earns the right to use the toilet (or as you say bathroom) first as they are the most regular.
And finally to those Castellano speakers out there - I apologise for my shoddy translations!! Any corrections are always welcome by me.
I am looking for any information concerning The Triple Bypass Ride that's held in Colorado, I believe its in either June or July.
Based on the typically spot-on pronunciation of Phil Liggett, I have always assumed that ag2r was pronounced "A-G-two-R." But I now have heard rumors that this collection of a number and letters is pronounced as a single word. What word would that be, and as an uneducated Anglophone what does it mean (since it would most likely be in French)?
I need some advice. I have just shaved my legs for the first time. When I go to put on my riding shorts the next day, it feels like I am pulling on some Velcro. My shorts seem to catch and it is hard to get the shorts on and adjusted just right. Plus I am worried about ruining my shorts. Does everyone have this problem? What do they do?
Othie Galen Burk
Recent letters pages