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  1. #7001
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Not sure how to take this bit of insight from Meredith Miller on her upcoming retirement from women's pro road racing:

    I donít see myself doing any Masters racing. After being at a high level it would take a while for me to be OK with coming back and racing at a Masters level. Thatís how I feel about road, anyway. íCross might be a little different; I can see myself doing more of the local races for ícross.
    Complete interview here to make sure I haven't quoted her out of context :

    http://velonews.competitor.com/2013/...ht-time_298125

    Thoughts?
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  2. #7002
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    I read that and thought the same thing. Where I live, the younger 1/2/3s are glad the Masters race by themselves so they don't get crushed by someone twice their age. That's the guys, though; don't know if Master's gals race at the same relative level...my guess is that they do. Could be that Miller is unfamiliar with the level they race at.
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  3. #7003
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by revchuck View Post
    I read that and thought the same thing. Where I live, the younger 1/2/3s are glad the Masters race by themselves so they don't get crushed by someone twice their age. That's the guys, though; don't know if Master's gals race at the same relative level...my guess is that they do. Could be that Miller is unfamiliar with the level they race at.
    They do - believe me.
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  4. #7004
    Senior Member VanceMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleave View Post
    Not sure how to take this bit of insight from Meredith Miller on her upcoming retirement from women's pro road racing:
    "I don’t see myself doing any Masters racing. After being at a high level it would take a while for me to be OK with coming back and racing at a Masters level. That’s how I feel about road, anyway. ’Cross might be a little different; I can see myself doing more of the local races for ’cross."
    I can certainly understand it. When I was a kid, a famous baseball player was retiring, and I asked my Dad why he didn't just go back down to the minors since "surely he was still good enough for AAA." While that is absurd on many levels, I still don't understand why such a high percentage of pro athletes give up not only their sport, but all physical activity, once they retire. Of course, so many don't seem to care about staying in peak shape even DURING their career.







    Last edited by VanceMac; 08-08-13 at 10:25 AM.

  5. #7005
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Surely you don't consider golfers to be athletes?

  6. #7006
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    My generous take is that she's saying she's been a traveling pro all these years and, despite all the inequities between men's and women's racing, it's still a bigger stage on which to perform.

    Local theater might be as good or better than a Broadway play, but it's not Broadway.

    Unless you're really gifted, making it as a pro in any sport requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice, and things and people around you suffer as a result. Cycling requires this to be good even at an amateur level.

    Coming off the big stage as a pro means you need to figure out if you can do this for fun and have some balance in your life. This also means that you're going to have to deal with the "why didn't you win?" questions at the Podunk Park criterium. You're an ex pro, right? I mean, these are just shlubs. Or you give up the balance to maybe win the Podunk Park crit. Maybe being the operative word here, someone like Miller won when all the stars aligned, she wasn't a dominant rider at any point.

    And it means all the stuff you used to take for granted (mechanics, bikes, travel, Etc) is now on you.

    And finally, she's going to have to deal with the lack of opportunities to race with age/gender peers.

    I get it if that's what she's saying.
    Last edited by Racer Ex; 08-08-13 at 10:11 AM.

  7. #7007
    Senior Member VanceMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    Surely you don't consider golfers to be athletes?
    I think the photo answers that question.

  8. #7008
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    Surely you don't consider golfers to be athletes?
    I'd reckon the top golfers could probably do just about anything athletic better than most folks...including, with a modest amount of training, riding a bike. Yeah, there are outliers who get away with poor lifestyles. But then again John Daly isn't exactly winning a lot of things. David Cone smoked, as did Keith Hernandez, but plenty of ballplayers live impeccable lifestyles. Elitism in any form is fairly tiresome.

  9. #7009
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    I disagree. I doubt very many of the top golfers are genetically disposed towards, for instance, an endurance sport such as ours. Probably about the same percentage as the general population.

    It my be tiresome, for you, for me to poke fun at other sports, but I enjoy it, just as you enjoy the way you post in the 33. A couple of friends of mine and I have running thing going. They'll name a sport, and I'll give a "yes" or "nope" as to whether the particpamts are "athletes" or not. TallWife and I also have a running thing going about which of us is the athlete and which is the has been. For the record, she is much more of a true athlete than I am, having gone through college on a full ride athletic scholarship. She can kick my butt in just about anything anything but cycling and basketball.

    It's all in good fun.

  10. #7010
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    I'd reckon the top golfers could probably do just about anything athletic better than most folks.
    Red Herring. And I'd reckon "most folks" cuts a pretty wide swath of demography. The question before us is not if there are athlete golfers, but rather if golfers are de facto athletes. I would say no. Just as I would say no to baseball players.

    My litmus for whether or not a pursuit is "athletic" is whether or not it can be performed at a high level when well out of prime physical condition. Others may have other definitions, but this one is mine. It also excludes things like darts, billiards, and other pursuits that require a high degree of hand/eye coordination. Or musicians. Playing a round of golf is far less taxing than playing first chair clarinet when performing anything by Wagner.

    A round of golf will be over well before the fat lady sings.

    I don't think that definition is elitist, and we can certainly admire the skills of people who drive race cars or throw darts. Just as we can admire John Daly's ability to stay near the top of the pro golf tour and shoot par while suffering from DT's and being morbidly obese.
    Last edited by Racer Ex; 08-08-13 at 11:12 AM.

  11. #7011
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I have a second hand set of clubs and will play once or twice a year, usually with my Mom. It's a good multigenerational game. I have some friends who are big into it and I've been asked why I don't play more. My answer is "I'll take up golf seriously when I get too old to do anything strenuous."
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  12. #7012
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Bowling? I mean - you have to lift a really heavy ball and all that. And see the pins....and be able to write...and add.

    THOSE are athletes!

    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  13. #7013
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    A few years ago Ohio went smoke free in public places. The bowling centers suffered when teams pulled out of leagues due to not being able to smoke and drink while competing in their sport.
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  14. #7014
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Didn't take long for this train to get on a different set of tracks.

    Fortunately, Racer Ex stayed on the tracks for a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    My generous take is that she's saying she's been a traveling pro all these years and, despite all the inequities between men's and women's racing, it's still a bigger stage on which to perform.

    Local theater might be as good or better than a Broadway play, but it's not Broadway.

    Unless you're really gifted, making it as a pro in any sport requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice, and things and people around you suffer as a result. Cycling requires this to be good even at an amateur level.

    Coming off the big stage as a pro means you need to figure out if you can do this for fun and have some balance in your life. This also means that you're going to have to deal with the "why didn't you win?" questions at the Podunk Park criterium. You're an ex pro, right? I mean, these are just shlubs. Or you give up the balance to maybe win the Podunk Park crit. Maybe being the operative word here, someone like Miller won when all the stars aligned, she wasn't a dominant rider at any point.

    And it means all the stuff you used to take for granted (mechanics, bikes, travel, Etc) is now on you.

    And finally, she's going to have to deal with the lack of opportunities to race with age/gender peers.

    I get it if that's what she's saying.
    I would get it too if your read between the lines represented her thoughts. What gives me pause is her comments on cyclocross. While cyclocross generally has that cheer for everyone and where's the beer atmosphere, a former pro would have the same issues if she was approaching it from a pro's perspective (bikes, mechanics, etc).

    Anyway, as much as I "complain" about having to race against ex-pro's, etc, I should be happy to hear that this soon-to-be ex-pro is planning to stay out of my amateur backyard.
    Thanks.
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  15. #7015
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Just saw that Kevin Susco entered the Mt Whitney Stage Race in Masters 55+. So much for an easy start. Of course, we (us slow guys) can just let him ride away at the start since he'll do that anyway before too long. Still only 7 entries for a guaranteed 10-deep prize list.
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  16. #7016
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleave View Post

    Anyway, as much as I "complain" about having to race against ex-pro's, etc, I should be happy to hear that this soon-to-be ex-pro is planning to stay out of my amateur backyard.
    Regarding women racing cyclo cross. In our area they have raced the Expert Women with the Men's Masters Class for the past few years. They start the men, then about a minute later the women start. In one race I was "chicked" by a witch, cheerleader and Angel.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  17. #7017
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Interesting take, Ex, although I will disagree (surprise) with you regarding race car drivers. I know you were a pro road motorcycle racer so you are probably biased, and that's fine. I'll refer to NASCAR only because its what I know, but it takes a lot of fitness to muscle a 3500 pound car that's 130 degrees inside for 3,4,5, even 6 hours. Sure there are a few John Daly's but most top racers are in shape and stay in shape. While there are older guys at the Cup level who can win a championship, it is a young persons sport these days. The serious contenders are all young. So by your criteria, it should be included.

  18. #7018
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    There are quite a few john daly shaped guys in masters racing. Guys who are fat as hell and yet if it comes down to a sprint they can still win. Ex knows one.

  19. #7019
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    All I can say is this photo shows what I have to deal with on a weekly basis:

    Podium from this past weekend's Brentwood (of OJ fame Brentwood) Grand Prix -- Masters 55+
    None of them are fat and it's extremely rare when one of them aren't on the podium of a local 55+ race. What really sucks is that they are all basically nice guys.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  20. #7020
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    Red Herring. And I'd reckon "most folks" cuts a pretty wide swath of demography. The question before us is not if there are athlete golfers, but rather if golfers are de facto athletes. I would say no. Just as I would say no to baseball players.

    My litmus for whether or not a pursuit is "athletic" is whether or not it can be performed at a high level when well out of prime physical condition. Others may have other definitions, but this one is mine. It also excludes things like darts, billiards, and other pursuits that require a high degree of hand/eye coordination. Or musicians. Playing a round of golf is far less taxing than playing first chair clarinet when performing anything by Wagner.

    A round of golf will be over well before the fat lady sings.

    I don't think that definition is elitist, and we can certainly admire the skills of people who drive race cars or throw darts. Just as we can admire John Daly's ability to stay near the top of the pro golf tour and shoot par while suffering from DT's and being morbidly obese.
    I'd most certainly say most professional golfers, and most ballplayers are athletes, just as I would say the vast majority of folks who own and ride bikes aren't. Watching the ironman or the NY marathon there are a hell of a lot of folks out there who aren't.

    I know cross country skiing to be one of the most physically taxing activities one can do.

    I also live in a place where it's done a lot, and see many people able to do it without raising their heart rate much above what it takes me to get off the couch.

    Single word definitions don't really have much use though, do they?

    But to each his own.

  21. #7021
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleave View Post
    Just saw that Kevin Susco entered the Mt Whitney Stage Race in Masters 55+. So much for an easy start.
    Each day is a long race, you never know what will happen. Kevin is strong but not super human (I've ridden with him).
    Good luck in the race. I wanted to go but I am having knee problems and I can't justify a 7 hour drive and then going back out there for Everest Challenge two weeks later.

  22. #7022
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    I'd most certainly say most professional golfers, and most ballplayers are athletes
    I'd say some for golf and most for baseball. All pro bike racers are athletes. All pro basketball players are athletes. Therein lies my definition, which separates the sport from the individual. All vs. "some" or "most". And not whether fitness might help some of the participants perform better.

    My comments are premised on the intrinsic demands of the sport at the highest level. Casual participants don't factor in. Running is an athletic pursuit. Not all runners are athletes.

    Some athletes are musicians. Some musicians are athletes. Music is not an athletic pursuit, even though it requires many of the things you'd associate with several of the sports under discussion.

    It's not a knock on any of those past times many of which require a very high end and specific skill set, which can be enhanced by staying in shape.

    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    Single word definitions don't really have much use though, do they?
    The world is not always vague and amorphous. One word definitions have great utility in passing on ideas and creating visual imagery:

    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    Guys who are fat
    And there you have it.

  23. #7023
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    Each day is a long race, you never know what will happen. Kevin is strong but not super human (I've ridden with him).
    Say hi to Kevin for me. We raced against each other for years. Nothing but respect for him.

    I'd go but I have a 5 minute ride tomorrow.

  24. #7024
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    I'd say some for golf and most for baseball. All pro bike racers are athletes. All pro basketball players are athletes. Therein lies my definition, which separates the sport from the individual. All vs. "some" or "most". And not whether fitness might help some of the participants perform better.

    My comments are premised on the intrinsic demands of the sport at the highest level. Casual participants don't factor in. Running is an athletic pursuit. Not all runners are athletes.

    Some athletes are musicians. Some musicians are athletes. Music is not an athletic pursuit, even though it requires many of the things you'd associate with several of the sports under discussion.

    It's not a knock on any of those past times many of which require a very high end and specific skill set, which can be enhanced by staying in shape.



    The world is not always vague and amorphous. One word definitions have great utility in passing on ideas and creating visual imagery:



    And there you have it.
    Actually the reason for my initial comment was that it specifically was a knock, but hey. I imagine the guy who is on top of the darts game thinks a bunch of old guys in spandex are silly.

  25. #7025
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    Actually the reason for my initial comment was that it specifically was a knock, but hey. I imagine the guy who is on top of the darts game thinks a bunch of old guys in spandex are silly.
    I'm not sure it was a knock. Vance pointed out that some athletes didn't stay in shape and AzT questioned whether golfers were athletes. Then I pointed out to Shovel re: NASCAR that wrestling a jackhammer for six hours in the Texas heat is hard too, but surely we're not saying that construction workers are athletes as well as NASCAR drivers*. Then you got all huffy and stormed off to the 33 to use big words like "omniscience". Then I used "cognitive dissonance" to one up you.

    Then we ended up back here because...well, I'm not exactly sure why.

    Huh.

    So where were we?

    *Actually, I didn't write that. I thought of it on my ride just now.

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