• Qatar, Kaiser, & the rightful ban of radios

    by  • February 9, 2010 • euroNews, norcal scene, opinionate • 7 Comments

    Tour of Qatar 2010

    “It was a like a war zone and it was every man for himself.” – Steven Cozza, Stage 3 [CN]

    cameljockies.jpgBoth the men & women’s versions of this year’s Tour of Qatar have claimed collarbones, pelvic girdles, and even a middle finger, or two. It’s a race that offers enough money, publicity, and UCI points that teams storm the thing like Lawrence of Arabia on crack.

    But this deadpan flat race with demon hot crosswinds spews out a casualty list faster than camels spit at tourists … and there’s nothing to do about it but say ~ ‘such is the way of the bike.’

    “Boonen’s computer registered a maximum speed of 72.8km/h and he described the sprint as one of the fastest finishes of his career” [CN]

    Sweet mother of pearl … that is well over 45mph for us ameri-pedalers.  45 frickin’ miles per hour on the flats, without too much tailwind other than the blow of fear-driven testosterone.  And there were boys falling in the final 500meters … that’s just sickening to think about.

    philphucked.jpgNow ~ I’m not one to disparage other sports, or try and call-out one as being supremo to the others … and, there is absolutely no way i’d want to have some 300lb behemoth ram his helmet into my guts at full gallop.  Buuuut … neither do i believe that many out there will want to get in their car, pop it into 4th gear, set the cruise control at 40+, open up the car door and … fall out in their underwear.

    But that’s what these riders risk … every day they race, every day they ride.

    egads ~ what are we thinking?
    .

    remarkablay.jpgAmber Rais was an early casualty of Qatar this year, hitting a bot-dot pre-race much like Kurt Arvelson did on the men’s side.  Damn shame, as Rais has a huge following of fans and we all want to see her healthy and performing in her own brave, elegant way.

    Kat Carroll also went down in one of the mad crosswind sections, much like Steven Cozza … both sustained injuries, but hopefully both will be back and racing their bikes like the banshee riders they both are.  These are two of the most courageous riders I’ve seen race their bikes in a long time.

    … damn hard sport.  damn hard.

    - – -

    Cody ‘der’ Kaiser … man for the future

    derkaiser_dachamp.jpgInternet cycling awesomeness – PodiumInSight -put out a nifty article about Kaiser a couple weeks back, and it was pure pleasure to read about how a family can fall in love with cycling.

    “Riding a bike was a lot more fun than playing a 6-hour round of golf, so with that said I am now in the bike business and not in the golf business, I don’t play golf anymore. We just ride a bunch, it was all because of Cody.” [PI]

    That’s from Cody’s dad, Bruce Kaiser ~ talking about how he started up a shop just south of Sacto in the Elk Grove area, Kinetic Cycles.  I have been impressed with this family for a long time, as they have always promoted bike riding and racing in a healthy, community conscious way.  Their connections with Ride for a Reason are long and strong, and the way this group conducts themselves on and off the bike inspires good vibes in all who come in contact with them.

    From Cross to Road?

    Cody has an obvious talent and enjoyment of racing in the dirt.  But, whether he knows it or not ~ he also has all the makings of a phenomenal road stage racer.  Racing the dirt is a barbarian’s endeavor at heart … filled with insane aggression and risk that brings out the yowling beasts in all of us.

    hellyeah.

    ghostdawg.jpgBut road racing is a thinking rider’s sport … and the best stage racers are those who can coldly calculate ~ only unleashing fury when it is called for, with discipline and absolute commitment.  And cyclocross is the perfect breeding ground for such riders, in my opinion.  As CalGiantBerries team director, Anthony Gallino remarked in the PI article,

    “He’s so mellow, sometimes if he’s too mellow that hurts him, he needs a little chip on his shoulder, when he’s pissed off is when he rides the best.”

    It’s that ‘mellow-ness’, his innate intelligence, and the freakish amount of sustainable power that this young man puts out that signals his high potential to be a road stage racer.  The stage racer needs patience, intelligence, ability … and an iron will to suffer.

    This young man has it.

    - – -

    Ban the Radios … Enforce Intelligence

    VeloSnews grabbed USAC’s Sean Petty to yak about the recent ban on radio use in cycling.

    “The UCI did a lengthy study, and got input from teams and riders around the world. Basically the question was, ‘have there been fewer accidents with the advent of the radio?’ The answer was, no.”

    barryboy.jpgI’m a fan of the opinions of Michael Barry and believe he lays out a number of strong arguments why riders should be unplugged.  I highly recommend his words for reading … in all things cycling.

    Safety is, or should be,  the first barometer checked for decisions in bike racing & promoting.  The argument that traffic hazards or dangerous conditions on the roads demands the use of radios is eloquently rebutted by Barry,

    “Prior to radio use there was solidarity amongst the riders where they looked out for their common interests when their jobs or health were at risk. With a voice telling us what to do, we have lost our voice as we seem to constantly buckle when under pressure.”[VN]

    deaf-stupid.jpgI believe strongly that banning radios will not only increase the safety of riders, but also increase the enjoyment and … panache of racing.

    When riders are free to ride – they are free to decide, learn, and succeed or fail as their talents and training dictate.

    There is beauty in seeing the choices made by individuals in circumstances so unique and demanding, especially in a sport so essentially team-oriented.

    I am glad to see the return of cycling to those who race it … not those who own it.

    But as USAC’s Petty says … “we’ll see.”

    - – -

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    7 Responses to Qatar, Kaiser, & the rightful ban of radios

    1. YahooForever
      February 9, 2010 at

      Yahoo is the best team!~
      Get used to it. It is the Super Team of NorCal, just like Team Sky. Yahoo has the best riders, the best bikes, the best captain, and the best riders. The captain will always find a way to win the race and the riders will deliver. No one understands that this team is not like others in NorCal. This is the finest team ever from here so just get used to the domination.

    2. Anonymous
      February 9, 2010 at

      oh, fine.

    3. hardy ha!
      February 10, 2010 at

      Yahoo. Pronounced as YAY-Hoo…Is a term used by them in th’ sticks referrin’ t’an indivijool wif a downwrit trimenjus ego.
      In all seriousness yahoo! is an impressive team but it’s hard to take a liking to yahooforever’s kind of speech.

    4. Confused
      February 10, 2010 at

      All this Yahoo hype has me confused, are they supposed to be an elite or masters team? Looks like maybe both? I’d like to see them go toe to toe w/ AMD/Disco.

    5. YahooAlways&Forever
      February 10, 2010 at

      The team is spot on, fantastic. It is a Elite team with the best mix of experience and youth. It is going to be common for folks to sometimes not understand that the Yahoo team is the most outstanding group of riders, on the best equipment, with the best captain and best staff. Everyone has their ideas and thoughts but there is no debate that the Yahoo super team is just that, SUPER!~ The riders and the captain are the very best from this area, and it will always come down to Yahoo for the win. I hope everyone just gets used to racing for 2nd place when Yahoo is taking part in the race.

    6. Anonymous
      February 10, 2010 at

      Who is the child (Yahoo…forever) that keeps writing these inane comments? Is that redundant? Yes, Yahoo is a great team comprised of great amateur riders. We are lucky to have a host of great amateur teams with great riders. Will we be racing for second in most local races if Yahoo shows up? Probably. There is great local speed on that team and much tactical savvy. Hopefully, Yahoo will give back to the community like the other great teams have. After all, it is just silly bike racing. We are not curing cancer or degenerative diseases with the time we sink in this sport. So lets enjoy it for what it is supposed to be – a good time. NOW SHUT UP AND RACE YOUR BIKES and stop taking this shit so seriously.

    7. Yahoosometimes
      February 12, 2010 at

      yahoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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