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« The Awareness Test | Main | Quick Thoughts »

March 20, 2008

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matt

Ahhh Sara...Cipo was THE MAN for a LONG TIME! He could talk the talk, but TRULY walked the walk! I was pretty stoked to see him in person (the Solvang TT) during the ToC...he was fighting his way up the short Ballard canyon climb and Big Haired Sports Fan (the guy in the blue afro w/ full-on Elvis style cape and clothes) ran alongside...and Cipo was SMILING! In fact, I dare say trying NOT to laugh as he fought the climb! I wish I could have gotten a pic of his face...Cipo was the man who invented the sprinter lead-out (if I recall correctly)...ala TB and the others who all use that tactic now. And he won SO MANY RACES in his career...he is truly hall of fame material in cycling...and I knew his return was going to be a short stint...but I always liked him. I thought he was a great ambassador for the sport.

And hey...I took that awareness test..boy was I suprised! It is SO TRUE! We only see what we are looking for...which is why SO MANY drivers pull out in front of bikes and motorcycles...didn't see them. And they didn't...even though they are in plain sight..they are looking for a car. I had SO MANY close calls that I gave up motorcycling...a driver can look you in the eye, and then take you lane...they SAW me but didn't register it in their muddled brain...I wasnt' a car, therefore not a threat to them. In my SHORT road cycling career (so far) I've only had a few CLOSE calls where cars pull out RIGHT in front (or zoom past me and then proceed to jam on the brakes and make a right turn mere feet in front of me as I am blazing along on the shoulder/bike lane...I just can't fathom it sometimes...but I rode motorcycles enough that I developed pretty good self-preservation techniques...(pretty much ALWAYS assume the car DIDN'T see you, act accordingly and you will live another day...hopefully!) But I admit that manty times, you won't get that chance...as you dont' get to choose when bad things happen (hence my amazement at cyclists and motorcyclists riding w/out helmets...CRAZY!)

OK, enough on that...positive vibes to FLOYD! And hey..March Madness has begun! And on a closing note, AI last night (only watched the first half)...YOUNG David rocked the place! He was the act to beat IMO (at least from the ones I saw)...Brooke was kind'a lame after knocking it out of the park last week w/ her piano version of "Let it be"...David Cooke was so so also...though I still think he will be one of the final contenders. OK...happy Thursday! 1st day of spring and all that! Woo-HOO!

CMehl

Sara, all you have to do is be at a race or in Vegas when Cipo is there and then ALL OF A SUDDEN you will have total understanding of what all the hoopla is about (besides his incredible win record). The dude just oozes sex appeal and charm and all that Italian hotness that he possesses--I kid you not. When going to the 50+ floor of the Voodoo Lounge in vegas at IBike a few years ago he stepped into the elevator at the last minute with a large group of us (mixed) and I seriously thought the elevator was going to explode! Plus the first time I saw him race was in 2004 at TdG and he missed the stage win and was seen chewing out his leadout team (Domina Vicanza team I think). I mean he was ripping them some new ones....next day he won! lol

And regarding AI I was bummed Irish Carly was in bottom three--watch out, because next week she will knock it out of the park. That girl can sing!

Theresa

Cipo is cool; but I'm also far more interested in the women's team, that why Cipo and RR decided to split. I had not realized they HAD a women's team!! I think for all the stirring the pot that Michael Ball does, he's still something new and fresh for the sport of cycling!! I'm not so quick to wag my finger at him. If he invests in cycling the way he's planning too; the sport will be much better off!! And RR needs to be invited to the Tour of MO; as a cycling fan in MO, I insist!!!

kathleen

Right on Sara! This IS what it's about. The RR girls were not represented at Visalia this last weekend and folks were kind of curious about their absence. We'll see what they have in store for Redlands...
And I agree with CMehl on Cipo. MBall just won't know what he's lost 'til it's gone.

Sara Best

Yay, Slipstream gets a Tour invite!

cat

Woohooo!!!! Go Slipstream!

Barbara

http://www.velonews.com/article/73458/questions-about-the-cupertino-crash

Have you seen this tragic and appalling story?

janann

After that link about the cycling accident and subsequent reporting, I thought we needed some positive news, too.

This is some of the best news I've read lately!
http://www.fatcyclist.com/2008/03/17/when-it-rains-it-pours/

jessica

Speaking of that Awareness video, I heard something interesting on local Public Radio a couple months ago.

In Portland, Oregon they've come up with a "device" to help with intersection collisions with cyclists. After a spate of fatalities, I think 3 in 10 days, someone devised the Bike Box. I think that's what its called.

Anyway, at intersections known for high rider traffic, they reset the stop line for traffic back 15ft from the pedestrian crosswalk. And this buffer area is painted in a square in blue or green. And cyclists can come up alongside, from the bike lane and move in front of traffic. Then, most importantly, the more drivers become unconciously "trained"to identify this box with cyclists, when they pull into them or ready to make a turn thru them, their brains say "bike box" and the awareness is Pinged, I guess you could say.

Apparently it's been hugely successful in Portland and they're soon to introduce 11 or so in our town next. I'm hoping it will happen in my neighborhood - a major cycling thoroughfare and sadly a number of fatalities.

I'm a dork, I had no idea about the Rock Girls. How fantastic is that?! That they exist, I mean.

And I think AI's Carly is darn good!

jessica

Ok, i'm confused but I clearly heard the radio interview state that it had been in effect in Portland for a year and had been very successful. But this link makes it sound "new".

In case anyone is interested, here is one link I found:

http://bikeportland.org/2008/03/17/portlands-first-bike-box-is-now-complete/

And whoops I meant to say Rock Women :p

Paul

It stinks that I've never heard about girls' cycling. What's wrong with promoters, anyway? Watching girls compete is still hard core competition. Compared to guys, you see the same attitude, drive, tactical planning, preparation, trash-talking, and win-or-die-trying performances. I would love to watch girls' cycling.

I raised 3 daughters who have been competitive athletes in multiple sports, high school and college. I found girls to be more exciting to watch than guys, actually.

pommi

You can read about the real reasons for Cipo's departure in my blog ;-)

Theresa

Pommi has got the answers for what we want to know!!

kathleen

For those of you who are truly passionate about women's cycling (or would like more reasons to be) may I direct you to the US Women's Cycling Development Program, a non profit organization dedicated to supporting women cyclists at all levels and growing the sport of women's cycling.

http://www.uswcdp.org

Check out the site and let them know you care!

One of their chief concerns is equal pro pay for equal pro pedaling!

Waddy

To be quite honest, I just came from a blog that turns this whole Rock Racing Women's Team conversation on it's ear. I'll provide the link and I implore you to read ALL the comments. It's reminiscent of the AFB conversation held at Dugard's last year. Before you jump all over Rock's bandwagon, give it some thought. The banter is not quite as tame as it is here at Sara's. Those of you with "heightened sensitivities" may wish to abstain. You know who you are.

Here's a sample from a comment, as a teaser:

"Female athletes have worked too hard over the last several decades to garner their due respect. Then this sort of thing happens. It’s a sad joke and a pathetic and telling commentary.
While Michael Ball’s (or whomever at Rock) team selection methodology is his prerogative, it represents a backward step in women’s sports in general and is, quite frankly, offensive."

http://wheelsuckers.com/rock-racing/

janann

Thanks Waddy -- very interesting......I'm looking for more on the topic.

Theresa

Interesting criteria. But I have always felt if you put a kit on a cyclist, male or female, you have one hot athlete. I know it doesn't change the way they ride; but some of the guys need to have stuff done to their teeth!

As long as someone is promoting women's cycling, I don't care! Their results matter. Plus, listen to us ogle the guys!!!

btw; what an AWESOME Milano-SanRemo yesterday!!! I thought I was going to chew off some fingers watching that race!! Yeah! Will Frisckorn!! And Fabian, Fabian, Fabian!!!!!

kathleen

FABIAN!!!

cat

Oh boy Waddy, where do you find these things? I've heard tougher language on the DPF. These guys sound like HS kids.

Interesting how RuuurockRuuuracing is stirring the pot every where. And also interesting how people cough up a fur ball every time someone expresses an opinion.

Although truthfully, it usually happens when the opinion doesn't jive with one's own.

BTW, doesn't that little trip to GED-ville make you happy and pleased to be here with allllll these people who write reely good? (who's the snob now, eh?) ;-)

Waddy

Cat, I have no idea what you just said, but I ain't that sharp.

Anyway, if you read my post, I didn't express an opinion about it, I just urged folks to check it out. My take on it is that Rock's womens team is a regional team. And there is a big regional racing scene in SoCal. The comments seemed to have come from people inside that scene, and people seemed to fall on either side of the point. I only pointed out how similar it seemed to the whole Amanda Beard buzz last year at MD's. Draw your own conclusions. I remember some pretty passionate opinions about AFB (susie?) and wondered how this differed.

The reason given by the Tour of Georgia for excluding Rock this year is that Ball's style of making it about his brand and drawing too much attention from the event and other teams is not a welcome approach. Some love it, some hate it. He's not making friends with the organizers, that's for sure. Should we care what his riders look like? One thing that should be noted. It seems, for now, that Rock's women's squad is getting some decent results, better than what some expected.

What Michael Ball is doing is getting his brand into a lot of people's consciousness. I have spent a lot of time around the founder of UnderArmour, Kevin Plank, having worked on many of their commercials. I see a similarity between Ball and Plank. Plank spoke obsessively about "branding". Everything he did was in order to put the "brand" out there. Ball seems passionate about cycling, but it will always be second to promoting his brand. You've got to give him credit. His approach to business has made him wildly succesful. But like Mark Cuban, success doesn't always mean people are going to love you. Cuban was singlehandedly responsible for the NBA making it illegal for an owner to sit on the bench. When you enter the "Old Boys Network" of professional sports, they're not always going to be happy about the new maverick on the block.

Waddy

And Cat, You're no snob. But I've always felt the internet was the downfall of properly written grammar, mine included. There's a real difference in the writing style of the majority of those under 35 compared to OUR generation. And y'all do rite reel purdy like! Reminds me of The Ol' Coot, who wrote for Dirt Rag Magazine. He wrote entire articles in that old grizzled prospector style. It was almost unbearable to read.

Barbara Kyle

Sara, regarding the Rock Racing Women's Team, these athletes are indeed terrific role models for young girls, but when it comes to your own little girl, for the best role model she can't do better than her Mom.

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