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The Cowbell Delima?

Old 06-14-10, 09:13 PM
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TheMudder
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The Cowbell Delima?

Before my hiatus of 20 years I can't recall EVER having spectators/supporters at a criterium ringing cowbells or bells of any kind.

I believe I understand that it comes from downhill skiing in Europe...???

Anyway, I did a little search and was unable to find this discussion although I found several "cowbell" post titles, so please forgive me if I missed this discussion somewhere.....

Recently in the race report thread I was reminded by aham23's post http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ost10963260and I've been puzzled by this question during several criteriums in my first season back in many years:

1. Why are spectators at criteriums, where the sound of a bell is a key factor in the race, allowed to ring bells of any kind?

...I know, "it's a free country." Sitting in the crowd at a basketball game blowing a whistle is a similar thing...

Does anyone have any experience in their region with officials banning them or counteracting this phenomenon by changing the "bell" lap and "bell" prime to a different sound (ie...air horn or whistle)

That's my question that I would love to hear all y'all thoughts for.
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Old 06-14-10, 09:39 PM
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You knew it was coming

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Old 06-14-10, 09:39 PM
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Are you against the need for more cowbell?
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Old 06-14-10, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
You knew it was coming

Exactly what I was thinkin'
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Old 06-14-10, 09:55 PM
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I love the cowbells. My two boys (ages 3 & 4) love them as well. They bring them to every crit, even the practice crits and ring them loud and proud for EVERYONE. Even for daddy when he is OTB trying to hide in shame.

P.S. SW Idaho Yo!
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Old 06-14-10, 10:00 PM
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ok, yeah, I figured it was coming and if you knew me then you would know what fact I'm about to spout out.

My Dad, was the producer, and more, for Blue Oyster Cult. His name, however is NOT Bruce Dickenson........

I love the skit, as does my Pop. It has way overgrown itself. It's it's own phenomenon.

...anyway, when we do get past this part of the thread, I would seriously love to hear what anyone has to say about the original question....
We'll see if that's possible.
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Old 06-14-10, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by BiggSlic View Post
I love the cowbells. My two boys (ages 3 & 4) love them as well. They bring them to every crit, even the practice crits and ring them loud and proud for EVERYONE. Even for daddy when he is OTB trying to hide in shame.

P.S. SW Idaho Yo!
IdaYO!

I love them too...There was a lady out in the middle of the TT course this weekend in the trees with one. Awesome! Road races? SURE! But, to me, in a crit, it's confusing.

Last edited by TheMudder; 06-14-10 at 10:05 PM. Reason: typogrammaticalredundancycorrection
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Old 06-14-10, 10:15 PM
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TheMudder, this gets more interesting. We may not get past "this" part of the thread given the family information you provided

Btw, many years ago, wife and I had a terrific time white water rafting in Idaho and then traveling like Lewis and Clark for about a week.
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Old 06-14-10, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by bostongarden View Post
TheMudder, this gets more interesting. We may not get past "this" part of the thread given the family information you provided
Ha.

Originally Posted by http://www.blueoystercult.com/Studio/SWbios.html
Thanks to David Lucas, there was a demo tape to be played for record labels. Lucas met the band at the infamous Camp Swan Lake gig, and was so impressed with the group that he offered his eight track jingle studio for them to record a demo. In return, the band recorded the first album there.
Lucas' ideas and studio expertise were admired by the band, and they kept him involved throughout much of their recording career. David Lucas sings the backup vocals on "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" on both "Agents of Fortune" and "Cult Classic."


David Lucas still records jingles and bands in Florida.
...true dat, My Pops

but REALLY, I'm serious, doesn't anyone feel this way about the bell thing?
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Old 06-14-10, 10:48 PM
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The real bell doesn't sound like a cow bell, generally.
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Old 06-14-10, 10:53 PM
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I don't recall hearing them at any crits yet. However, I did hear them at a location or two during a road race almost 2 months ago. I kinda liked it. However, if it were near constant and loud throughout a race, I could see it driving me a bit nuts.
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Old 06-14-10, 11:04 PM
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A lady at the final turn of a crit I did a few weeks ago kept ringing a bell. It was only 50 meters from the finish, and the speakers weren't loud enough to hear the announcers. I couldn't even see the lap cards. It was extremely frustrating. I managed to finally catch a glimpse of the lap cards with 2 laps to go.
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Old 06-14-10, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ZeCanon View Post
The real bell doesn't sound like a cow bell, generally.

I guess that'd be about the best answer....although the bell at this weekend's race DID sound like a cowbell. Thanks for the real answer Ze.

@boston,
a:yeah, we have some wonderful wilderness out here.
2:as far as bells, i like'em...but when exerted and brain loopy oxygen deprived, sometimes it gets confusing...all part of the race though...ability to distiguish and actually process thoughts like,..."That's a chick and a cowbell....sit in" or "That's a prime, GO!"
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Old 06-14-10, 11:11 PM
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My boy on 'the wall' at the Superior Morgul Classic. Got Cowbell?
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Old 06-14-10, 11:33 PM
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I'd say it doesn't come from downhill skiing so much as cyclocross (but maybe that bell came from skiing).

i've sprinted erroneously before, but it doesn't bother me since I get more excited when people get into it
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Old 06-15-10, 12:40 AM
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Someone at the race I did last Saturday had a cowbell and rang it every single lap and it don't think the announcers had a speaker system. It was my first race back after being off the bike for 6 months so I was enjoying my position at the back of the pack, however I imagine for people planning to contend the primes that it was very confusing.
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Old 06-15-10, 01:05 AM
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beats vuvufarkzelas, which have been the noise maker of choice at races over here over the past few weeks, thanks to this publicity campaign.

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Old 06-15-10, 01:20 AM
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^
what a strange campaign.
if not for this conversation you can't really tell if it's about the weird hat or a hand held noisemaker or both.
funny.

i guess it is just nice to have spectators....we really don't get that many spectators around here. the trade offs of urban and semi-rural.
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Old 06-15-10, 01:44 AM
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there's a downside to spectators: it's not particularly fun having satay slung at you in a corner.
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Old 06-15-10, 10:30 AM
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I've heard announcers ask people to not cowbell around the start/finish, particularly at crowded urban crits. OTOH, there's at least two of the bigger stage races around here that sell commemorative cowbells along with t-shirts and such, so it seems like there's institutional backing for it. Personally, I'll live with the confusion if it means more excitement and spectators.

On the BOC front, the opening montage to the mini-series of The Stand, with the camera roaming through the plague-ravaged research lab while Don't Fear rolls in the background, remains one of the most memorable three minutes of television I can recall. (As evidence I submit the fact that I can still visualize it close to 20 years later...)
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Old 06-15-10, 10:34 AM
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At the Tour Of California they were passing them out like candy at some of the finish areas.
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Old 06-15-10, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
beats vuvufarkzelas, which have been the noise maker of choice at races over here over the past few weeks, thanks to this publicity campaign.
I heard a bit on npr this morning indicating that the 127 dB from those in the stadium is good enough to cause long term hearing damage.

sweet.
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Old 06-15-10, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Nate552 View Post
At the Tour Of California they were passing them out like candy at some of the finish areas.
Same with the Philly International Championship last weekend. Horrible.
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Old 06-15-10, 11:04 AM
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i have no issues with cows and their bells. this lady was near the start/finish ringing her bell like a mad man every lap. i think i just tuned out the bell, which is not good when the "laps to go" sign is being improperly worked. i say the more spectators and cow bells the better. i just need to pay attention. rookie mistake. later.
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Old 06-15-10, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by forrest_m View Post
I've heard announcers ask people to not cowbell around the start/finish, particularly at crowded urban crits. OTOH, there's at least two of the bigger stage races around here that sell commemorative cowbells along with t-shirts and such, so it seems like there's institutional backing for it. Personally, I'll live with the confusion if it means more excitement and spectators.

On the BOC front, the opening montage to the mini-series of The Stand, with the camera roaming through the plague-ravaged research lab while Don't Fear rolls in the background, remains one of the most memorable three minutes of television I can recall. (As evidence I submit the fact that I can still visualize it close to 20 years later...)
That's what I was looking for and it makes a lot of sense to me.
..so does the, "the more enthusiastic spectators the better." which is why a possible switch to an air horn or a loudly amplified bell could help....but then, a few years down the road people would start bringin air horns to races....

I was 3/4 years old, sittin on the studio couch, watching and listening (and sleeping and pooping my pants maybe) as 'Don't Fear the Reaper' was created. Anytime the intro comes on anywhere it's an amazing flash of emotions. ...an experience I'm lucky to have.
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