Friday, January 14, 2011

Radio Rant: Your Friday Mail

"Radios?  We don't need no stinking radios."

I'm saying it now.  Philipe Gilbert may be the new Jens Voigt.  Not that we need a new Jens Voigt, but let's face it - Jens is heading toward the twilight of his career and we need someone to look to that races old school, doesn't whine, and likes to get dirty.  Today in cyclingnews, he's announced his support for the ban on radios.

"I won Lombardia without a radio.  I was in contact with my teammates and not with the car, and when you have a good vibe with your teammates, it's more important than the one with your directeur sportif."

I've never understood the "radios make cycling safer" philosophy, and think at the very least, their use in individual time trials during stage races is straight up bullshit.  How is it even remotely acceptable for the GC leader to get to ride last in an individual time trial, with the cyclist he needs to beat riding 3 minutes in front of him, while the leader's director is watching the whole thing on TV and getting split times for the guy in 2nd place and conveying that info back to the race leader so he can ease up in tricky spots if possible?  I'm reminded of the 2003 Tour de France time trial when Jan Ullrich was sitting second to Lance Armstrong by 65 seconds and the final time trial was in a rain storm.  A time trial should be against the clock - not directly against another competitor.  But Ullrich's ride was watched second by second on a very sketchy course, with all the split times conveyed back to Armstrong.  What resulted was LA not having to race his hardest or take extreme risks for fear Ullrich would ride a faster time; all he had to do was beat Ullrich's split times that were being radioed to him continuously.  You could have guessed what would happen.  Ullrich goes balls out, crashes and Lance gets to coast (relatively) to his victory.  Ok, I'll get off the soapbox - they were probably both doped to the gills anyway....
On to some mail.

Dear PooBah-
What is up with the recent weather here in mid-Missouri?  Does this January feel coldler than usual?
Mary J.

Indeed.  It's like we're getting tea-bagged by Canada.

Dear PooBah,
They say that clothes make the man.  Well for this year's cross season, my team got new uniforms, and I gotta tell you, man - they made a huge difference.  I raced faster, felt stronger....and dude...the chicks couldn't keep away from me.  Check it.
Ryan H.

The PooBah definitely approves.

Dear PooBah,
I'm new to COMO and trying to fit in to the local cycling scene.  I ride a fixed gear and have noticed that the hip thing to do is to adorn it with stickers.  So I put a sticker on my down tube that reads "I LOVE MY BIKE".  The next day, I rode over to Jimmy Johns for lunch and when I came out, someone had carefully balanced a frozen dog turd on my saddle.  I almost started crying.  Was this in response to my new sticker?  What do I do?
Chuck J.

Unfortunately your sticker may have elicited the response.  Don't take this wrong way, but you might need to HTFU.  There's nothing wrong with cycling sensitivity....but you need to store it away when you're out on the street.  I'm sending you a magnet that you can use to cover up your down tube sticker when you are in town that might help with your acceptance:

Dear PooBah,
COMO POLO is looking for new sponsorship to help defray some of the costs associated with keeping the team up and running.  We definitely like thinking "outside of the box" so to speak and were just wondering if you had any suggestions of local businesses we could try to tap into?

Well - as long as you are willing to keep the partnership "outside of the box", you might consider one of the small start-up businesses that are run out of the motels north of town...They seem to work for other polo squads...

 Dear PooBah,

Last week you posted a letter sent in by my sister, Gretta, regarding her so-called saddle discomfort.  Obviously she sent in a photo of herself as well.   I hope you were not fooled by this little ploy of hers.  You see, as my younger sister, Gretta possesses a very unhealthy need to compete with me for some reason.  As a result, she occasionally goes to ridiculous lengths to attract attention to herself.  She has no shame.  I can guarantee that she is NOT having any issues with her saddle, but is rather just trying to be in the limelight one more time.  She doesn't even ride that much.  In fact her letter may be a cry for help in some way.  It's so sad.  Anyway - thank you for your thoughtful and sincere response to her note. 

By the way - I'm actually a serious cyclist and have enclosed a picture of myself doing some altitude training in Europe last summer.  Your readers may find it of interest ;)


Have a great weekend everyone - stay warm!



  1. I always wondered why cycling is so popular across the pond. Now I really want to get to France and "watch the big race".

  2. Just watched 'social network. I learned that the key to running a website isnt to let it go unactive for months at a time. Also, it should seem 'cool.' you should prob check that out.

  3. Balls to you sir!