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Old 12-31-08, 09:58 PM   #1
cgallagh
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The Brits are ahead of us again

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-st...p-1219882.html

Great article from "The Independent". Seems those wily Brits are promoting cycling way more than the good ol USA.
Some of the highlights:
Last month Sport England awarded British Cycling 24.3m for 2009-2013, almost double what they got over the previous four years. To keep their end of the deal, British Cycling has promised to plough money into improving grass-roots coaching and recreational cycling a boon for the next generation of world-beaters.

Under the Government's Cycle to Work scheme, employers who sign up buy bikes and safety equipment for staff, deducting the cost from their salaries. Because the employer can reclaim VAT and other taxes, you not only spread the cost of the bike but, depending on the scheme, can pay as little as half the price.
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Old 01-01-09, 03:22 AM   #2
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Cycling has received a boost from the success of our cycling teams success. But it is not just towards the "Elite" athletes as training for the grass roots has shown over the years. 2008 successes were formed about 8 years ago when it was recognised that cycling- rowing and equestrian sports had potential that had to be unleashed.

But do not worry about Chris Hoy for 2012. He will have a handicap as he has been made a Knight in the new years honours list. All that armour is bound to slow him down.

Chris Hoy admitted he was still coming to terms with receiving a knighthood in the New Year's Honours list.

The 32-year-old won three gold medals in track cycling at the Beijing Games - becoming the first Briton since 1908 to win three titles at one Olympics.

"It's a huge honour, really unexpected and just an amazing way to end the year," the Scot told BBC Sport.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/olym...es/7802977.stm
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Old 01-01-09, 07:44 AM   #3
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Excellent article. Too bad us Yanks can't get on the stick as well...
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Old 01-01-09, 09:51 AM   #4
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If we here in the USA paid the same price for gasoline/petrol as the British, no subsidies would be needed to increase bicycle commuting. We started getting to the tipping point last summer at round $3.50/gallon. And in my 'home turf' area (the Los Angeles region), we have one of the worst public transportation systems for a large metropolitan area.
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Old 01-01-09, 10:19 AM   #5
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As far as world beater's, US Postal/Discovery had a budget about 20% less than the German team that Ulrich rode for. The US has an excellent cycling program both amateur and pro.

The roads were lined with folks from all over the US to watch the Tour de Georgia when Armstrong rode. I think he rode in three. It's now folded due to a lack of interest.

Americans are not into physical activity and it gets more that way every year. My two canoe clubs and the two bike clubs are older folks. The younger folks are doing more sedentary stuff.

So I wouldn't blame the government for lack of financial support, but I would blame local governments for roads/streets that are hostile for walking/riding. That said, I doubt that more folks would ride with better conditions as where I live, the riding environment is pretty good and the interest is very low.

As Pogo said, "we have met the enemy and he is us."

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Old 01-01-09, 11:52 AM   #6
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I hadn't heard the Tour de Georgia had been canceled for 2009. But it hasn't folded, they are skipping a year and plan to hold the event again in 2010.

http://www.tourdegeorgia.com/
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Old 01-01-09, 06:57 PM   #7
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The roads were lined with folks from all over the US to watch the Tour de Georgia when Armstrong rode. I think he rode in three. It's now folded due to a lack of interest.
Al
The roads of Georgia have been lined with fans each year of the Tour de Georgia from 2003-2008, though the crowds were noticeably larger in 2004 and 2005, the two years that LA rode. TdG has had problems with sponsorship from the start. The state of Georgia has been a major sponsor each year. They have had problems getting major corporate sponsorship from the start. The drug scandals in pro racing didn't help in that regard. The bad economy has been another big problem. I would suspect that the state told the promoters that they would not be able to do their part this year in the face of anticipated budget shortfalls and the resulting cutbacks in services and budgets.
I hope the race will come back in the future, but if they can't find sponsors, it won't happen.

The race didn't fold due to lack of interest of fans, but has been suspended due to lack of funding from sponsors.
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Old 01-02-09, 11:27 AM   #8
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I hope the Tour de Georgia does continue. The word in the cycling media years back was that the Tour de California would kill the Georgia tour. Supposedly, there's only room for one international tour in the US.

Possibly, that's what happened to the sponsors. They went to California. The Georgia mountain terrain is a lot more like the French mountains than California's. At one time, they were actually part of the Alps.

With out fans, you don't get sponsors I would think.

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Old 01-02-09, 05:38 PM   #9
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The irony is that the Tour de Georgia set the stage for the Tour of California. The same people put it on. As a course marshal for the 2004 and 2005 Tours de Georgia, I was invited to work the first California race, but couldn't afford the trip. Many of my fellow marshals did go and had a great time.

The Georgia sponsors didn't go to California. They never really materialized in the first place. At least not at the needed level of support and commitment.
As for fans, I would guess that the percentage of Georgia residents that watched the TdG races was probably as high or higher than in California. But we just don't have the total population numbers here. We also don't have the available money from sponsors or fans. We don't have the level of media available. From a business standpoint, I can't see how a race in Georgia could ever compete with a race in California for monetary return on investment. But as a competitive race and for value for developing a team for bigger European races, the terrain and layout in Georgia can hold its own. What is needed (in my humble and unqualified opinion) is a sponsor or group of sponsors who care enough about the sport to accept lower profit potential in the interest of doing what is good for the sport. Not saying they should accept losing money, but just not expect to make as much as with the California race. What the race has done to promote interest in bicycling and bicycle racing at the local level is huge and worth buying into. It will be a crying shame if it does not return.
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Old 01-02-09, 06:46 PM   #10
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Ummm, okay. So, our government should sponsor professional sports? Let them succeed on their own. Take any money and use it for everyday cyclists. Extra money for a path along freeways, to be included by the construction companies when they are building or repaving freeways, etc.
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Old 01-02-09, 10:29 PM   #11
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I read and reread the article and found links showing the extensive cycling network of paths and routes within Great Britain. I think what I got most out of this article and the subsequent links was that the British Gov along with various cycling groups have developed a more cycling friendly place than we have here. They also more actively promote all kinds of cycling. I don't know from what I have read so far, how the cycling community and the driving community coexist but hopefully Stapfam will chime in.

I know that in all the trips to Europe in the last couple of years I noticed that cycling in the places I visited, was much more mainstream for commuters as well as more serious cyclists of other persuasion.
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Old 01-03-09, 01:08 AM   #12
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I don't know from what I have read so far, how the cycling community and the driving community coexist but hopefully Stapfam will chime in.

I know that in all the trips to Europe in the last couple of years I noticed that cycling in the places I visited, was much more mainstream for commuters as well as more serious cyclists of other persuasion.
One thing I have noticed since I started road riding- is that motorist's are more considerate towards cyclists. Still have the idiots and the equivalent of your rednecks- but with more people riding- or having family that ride- Drivers do in general think of cyclists.

Cycle commuting is more prevalent now and a lot of traffic lights do have Cycle specific lanes adjusted into them and There are cycle lanes on most heavy usage roads. Can't tell you about major cities as I don't go to them but from my trip to London a couple of weeks ago cyclists do seem to be better catered for.

But if you want "Safe" riding- go to France. Done a few trips over there and car drivers will not only cater for cyclists- they put themselves out to help cyclists. BUT Holland is the place to go. There cyclists have priority and if a car and cycle do have an accident- The car driver is deemed to be at fault because he has not taken enough consideration of the cyclist.
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