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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 01-18-07, 08:58 PM   #1
BeantownFixed
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ESPN article on track cycling

Came across this article. This pro triathlete is trying to find a sport she can qualify for the Olympics in. In this article she goes to the US Olympic track cycling camp.
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/etick...mpianpartthree
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Old 01-18-07, 09:06 PM   #2
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"However, dramatic skids with the rear tire don't make you look cool on track bikes."

Well, that's that, then.
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Old 01-19-07, 07:08 AM   #3
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With all due respect to Ms. Bertine, crap articles like this infuriate me. Rather than actually doing something for the sport and backing an unknown but TALENTED track rider who could not afford or manage Olympic training otherwise, they go for the cutesy fluff piece.
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Old 01-19-07, 09:34 AM   #4
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This is Part 3 in our series on Bertine's Olympic quest in which she tries out the redheaded stepchild of biking — track cycling.
What the ****? Maybe somebody should make them sit down and read/watch Six Day Bicycle Race. And coming from a huge source like ESPN too.
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Old 01-19-07, 09:36 AM   #5
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PS: comments, concerns, criticisms, and/or complaints: ESPNOlympian@aol.com

Load it up people.
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Old 01-19-07, 10:11 AM   #6
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I can't compete in my usual sports, so I'll take up a new one...**** that sh*t
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Old 01-19-07, 10:17 AM   #7
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Man, you guys are way too easily infuriated when folks don't bow down to your precious fixed gear culture. The article takes the perspective of an outsiders view of track racing. Its not intended to be a review of the history of track racing, or a piece on the coolness of fixed gears, or fixed gear culture, and if it was most people would find it to be extremely boring except a few track/fixed gear nerds. Face it...track racing is a marginal sport in this country. Does olympic track cycling ever even get televised here? Its just not that exciting to most people because they don't identify with it. Most cyclist don't even really identify with it because its such a specialized and restrictive form of cycling. Most of you probably wouldn't even really care much about the sport of track racing if you weren't obsessed with track bikes. I've tried track cycling, and frankly, my first impression of it is that its kinda lame. And although it can become exciting the more you get into it, frankly, riding on roads and trails is way more exciting right off the bat. The article is a human interest story and not intended to be about track racing really. Its part of a larger story about an ameteur's attempt to get into the olympics and how challenging that would be. Theres nothing wrong with that.

Last edited by mihlbach; 01-19-07 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 01-19-07, 10:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mihlbach
Man, you guys are way too easily infuriated when folks don't bow down to your precious fixed gear culture. It an article about an outsiders view of track racing. Its not intended to be a review of the history of track racing, or a piece on the coolness of fixed gears, or fixed gear culture and if it was, it would be boring to everyone except a few track nerds. Face it...track racing is a marginal sport in this country. Its just not that exciting to most people. Does olympic track cycling ever even get televised here. The article is a human interest story, and part of a larger story about an ameteur's attempt to get into the olympics and how challenging that would be. Theres nothing wrong with that.

but but but.... oooohhhhhh
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Old 01-19-07, 10:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bockman
With all due respect to Ms. Bertine, crap articles like this infuriate me. Rather than actually doing something for the sport and backing an unknown but TALENTED track rider who could not afford or manage Olympic training otherwise, they go for the cutesy fluff piece.
Did you actually read the article? It doesn't sound to me like
ESPN actually paid for her training or is somehow bank-rolling
her Olympic dream in any way. In fact, I doubt that they gave
her anything except a few bucks to write this article for them.
As for it being a fluff piece, well this is ESPN, not the New York
Times.
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Old 01-19-07, 10:28 AM   #10
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I just curious how you find an untrained rider with elite potential? Like american idol but with vo2max tests muscle biopsies and brutal ordeals of masochism instead of stupid judges with snarky comments?
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Old 01-19-07, 10:30 AM   #11
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i love how she rides on the tops of the bars like a hipster with b123's
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Old 01-19-07, 10:32 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by genericbikedude
i love how she rides on the tops of the bars like a hipster with b123's
never been to a track have you?
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Old 01-19-07, 10:35 AM   #13
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She's hot. And the article isn't bad IMO.
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Old 01-19-07, 10:35 AM   #14
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I have a little. but she does it in pacelines, which I was told not to do. *shrug*
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Old 01-19-07, 10:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dutret
I just curious how you find an untrained rider with elite potential? Like american idol but with vo2max tests muscle biopsies and brutal ordeals of masochism instead of stupid judges with snarky comments?
+1

Yeah, I just +1 dutret. It was a good point, what can I say. One difference: I would keep the snarky judges and their comments. Oh wait, I think the editor managed to take that job.

I don't have a problem with the article, my problem is with the editor's note at the beginning. Track cycling is a sport with a lot of history, it takes strategy, and it is a respected sport in many places. But wait, American's don't like it. Oh, it doesn't count because we don't watch it in America.
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Old 01-19-07, 10:38 AM   #16
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PS-
Quote:
Hi Ryan,

I think we (Editors and myself) were trying to infer that track cycling is "the redheaded stepchild" because no one in mainstream, football-watching, America knows the sport exists or pays any attention to it. This is not a reflection on track cycling, but on the "popularity" and capitalization of mainstream sports. Hopefully it was clear how very difficult the sport of track cycling is, and that it deserves much more coverage and credit!

Best wishes to you,

Kathryn Bertine
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Old 01-19-07, 11:09 AM   #17
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OH Snap! I liked the article. I thought it definitely showed how hard it is, and was up to ESPN's usual level of entertaining-ness. My favorite part was this little jab:
Quote:
In the past few years, road cycling has enjoyed a surge of popularity (thanks to Lance and EPO — separately)
separately - HA!
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Old 01-19-07, 01:13 PM   #18
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it seem like some what of a catch-22 to me (but more likely it's just sporting channels being presumptuous). their logic appears to be: american's don't get track cycling because it's not televised so there isn't a lot of exposure, but it isn't televised because american's don't watch it (more under the assumption that they/we wouldn't watch it)
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Old 01-19-07, 01:20 PM   #19
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someone with money could make it hot, but you already knew that.
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Old 01-19-07, 01:46 PM   #20
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Those "seemingly generic purple bikes" she speaks of are KHS aero's.

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Old 01-19-07, 02:46 PM   #21
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I get the impression this kind of "I can't do my thing anymore so I'll cycle" seems kinda common. That aussie AIS (?Amy Gilette?) roadie that got killed in Germany a couple of years ago was a former rower and switched to cycling to continue competing.

At least the track is getting press. I don't think it's just the US anymore that has a waning affection for track racing as the IOC dropped both the men's & women's 500m track event from the 2008 Olympics anyway... to make room for... eeewwww... BMX.
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Old 01-19-07, 02:53 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bockman
With all due respect to Ms. Bertine, crap articles like this infuriate me. Rather than actually doing something for the sport and backing an unknown but TALENTED track rider who could not afford or manage Olympic training otherwise, they go for the cutesy fluff piece.
EXACTLY
Like some of these people

http://www.velonews.com/race/trk/articles/8693.0.html

Some of these are friends of mine and I know how hard they work for little in return
How about giving THEM some props ESPN????
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Old 01-19-07, 02:55 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Rugen
I get the impression this kind of "I can't do my thing anymore so I'll cycle" seems kinda common. .
YEP..... Unfortunate isn't it??
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Old 01-19-07, 03:07 PM   #24
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" However, dramatic skids with the rear tire don't make you look cool on track bikes."

LIES!
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Old 01-19-07, 03:38 PM   #25
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I don't see why everyone is so mad about this. Sure she didn't fawn over track cycling. Does anyone other than a small handful in this country? This ain't Belgium. And unless you live by one of the very few velodromes, chances are you've neither rode in nor watched a track racing event.

While I would love nothing more than to see the proliferation of cycling and fixed gear bikes in general, I'm not going to complain when ESPN doesn't do a front page bio on someone no one has ever heard of. Sure it would be great for them to follow someone with true potential, but if they did, no one would read it and the article wouldn't be published at all. Besides, I seem to remember a few years ago when the only cycling you'd see all year in the states was ABC's Wide World of Sports, every Sunday, for an hour, during the Tour de France. Now that's covered live. I don't get OLN anymore but when I did they had several cycling events. This lack of cycling coverage you complain about could be much, much worse.

As far as her calling track racing 'the red-headed stepchild of cycling,' who cares. She's saying its abused, undervalued, and outcast. Can you argue with any of these?
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