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Daily Archives: March 28, 2016

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It’s Time for Changes in Pro Cycling Coverage – Simple Solutions to Keep the Peloton on the Right Side of the Grass, Pumping Air.

Antoine Demoitié : 1990-2016 – http://wp.me/p1Wg03-fYd

A young racer was killed after he was involved in a crash.  According to reports he survived the bike crash but was run over by a media motorcycle.  It cannot be emphasized enough how ridiculously senseless the loss of a 25 year-old young man is because a motorcycle carrying a TV camera was too close to the cyclists to avoid running a kid over after the crash.

It’s not just Antoine.  According to a linked article;

In 2015, the list of riders injured by race motos included Tinkoff riders Peter Sagan and Sergio Paulinho, both at the Vuelta a España; Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) at Clásica San Sebastián; and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) at the Tour de France. At the 2015 Ronde van Vlaanderen, Shimano neutral service cars took out both Jesse Sergent (Trek) and Sébastien Chavanel (FDJ).

The women’s peloton is not immune. Marianne Vos, the most decorated woman to ever pin on a race number, suffered a broken collarbone during the 2012 Valkenburg Hills Classic, after an incident with a race moto. A month earlier, Emma Pooley, an Olympic medalist and world time trial champion, was knocked off her bike by a race moto at the women’s Flèche Wallonne.

And who can forget Johnny Hoogerland getting knocked into a barbed wire fence by a support vehicle?

It’s time for cycling to enter this century in terms of race coverage because most of these accidents are entirely unnecessary – and coverage can be made better in the process.  Here’s how:

  1.  Take a note from NASCAR… Mount cameras on each bike.  Most teams are struggling to make weight on the bikes anyway by adding lead.  A small battery powered camera could easily be mounted on the head tube or under the handlebars.
  2. Run cable cameras, similar to those used in NFL stadiums, along the entire course (granted this is no small feat but if it saves lives – and it would – it’s worth the effort).  This would make peloton coverage better because cameras could be moved to where the action is.  Now, I’m not saying this solution would be easy – it won’t but done correctly the capabilities for great coverage would be stellar.  This way all you need is the lead motorcycle(s) to clear the way.

This still doesn’t deal with the pesky team cars (maybe we go back to the olden days of fixing flats?  Sure beats dying) but it’s a good start.

I love cycling.  I love cars.  I love motorcycles…  All three zooming around together in a confined space sucks and I’m tired of seeing my favorite cyclists taken out by vehicles.

It’s time to fix this.  Open up in the comments with your ideas.

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A Perfect Easter Sunday Ride.

It’s been cold in my neck of the woods and it doesn’t help that we ride early.  Yesterday the cold finally broke, just in time…

My daughters are outside playing basketball, I’m dressed and sitting on the couch waiting for my wife to finish getting ready so we can head down to my mother’s house for Easter dinner.  I feel awesome.  We got back at about 11:30 from a perfect ride with many of my friends…

It was one of those cold mornings, it took ten minute of my car warming up to fight through the thick frost on my windshield. It was supposed to warm up quick though and with nary a cloud in the sky the quick warm up seemed plausible. I left a layer and a half off of my upper body and went with knee warmers and thermal tights on the lower half. I aired up the tires, filled the water bottles, loaded the bikes and packed my shoes, gloves and a cap to go under my helmet.

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This photo was not taken yesterday, which explains why it is not sunny…

We arrived at the meeting spot, readied and headed out – five of us B guys, my wife (who is rapidly becoming a solid B) and Diane (on a tandem with Adam) and two of the A guys (and Dave’s wife with him on the tandem). Each one of us were stoked to be riding and the weather couldn’t have possibly been better – 40 degrees and rising, abundant sunshine and a mild single-digit breeze out of the south.

The pace was quite subdued, Dave and Craig were content to keep the pace reasonable to keep the group together and we just rode.

20 miles in and my wife and Matt were struggling staying connected to the group so I went back to help them. As is often the case, when I fall off the back, when I have a mile or three to ride at an easier pace, I recharge if you will. I was banking on that for my wife and Matt. My wife was game but every time I put the hammer down Matt would slip off the back. Simply put, I think Matt just doesn’t care about keeping up and holding a draft like I do. He knows the way back and he’ll get there when he gets there, and I respect that about him.

A mile later though, he was in so I set about trying to reel the group in without dropping my wife and friend. It went well at first, the group got closer, we gained almost half of the mile we were down back but it was an exercise in futility. I spent God only knows how many miles up front pulling, followed by a mile or two’s worth of rest before taking the lead again for several more miles.

We rolled into a small town store out in the middle of nowhere and the group was there waiting for us. I used the facilities, bought a Payday that I wasn’t going to eat and went outside to fire down a banana before rolling out. Total stop time was less than five minutes.

The rest of the ride was plain old awesome. I knew we only had 12 or so miles to go and we had a lot of helping wind. The pace was lively, halfway between 20 and 30 mph though we did top 29 for a goodly section (maybe three miles with a straight tailwind).

My wife and Matt were still with us turning onto the home stretch, just four miles to go. I was hurting, after the 44 miles the day before and I was awfully tempted to sit up and just let the big group go to ride back easy with my wife and Matt but I just couldn’t justify it. I stayed with the main group, took a turn up front and hammered it home.

37.84 miles, one hour, fifty three minutes and we pulled into the entrance to the parking lot. 20 mph average, give or take a tenth.

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I ate a few nuts to tide me over until dinner at my mom’s house… It was a feast and I enjoyed every delectable bite. My wife and I curled up on my mom’s sofa afterwards and we took one exceptionally satisfying nap… before:

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Yep, more carrot cake. Life is good. Thank God.