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Spokesmen Podcast; Episode 133

April 3, 2016

If you have not already checked it out,we recorded another good show this morning. It’s another longer one, almost 2.5hrs of conversation, but it’s a good one (as always).

There was some very good conversation about the horrible death of Antione Demoitié at Gent-Wevelgem, and the very complex issue of what needs to come next. Tied into that was discussion of the UCI’s role, as well as the anemic power of the rider’s union.

There’s also a very lengthy discussion about infrastructure advocacy versus creating more riders, and the industry’s weak efforts to date. As an industry, we can and must do more. Like peeling an onion, there’s a lot of layers, and it’s not a simple fix … but it’s imperative that we try. With insight from distinguished industry peers Rick Vosper and Jay Townley, there’s a lot worth listening closely to.

Another great discussion takes place on the topic of media bias/ objectivity and the issue of editorial content influenced by ad dollars. Or not influenced at all by ad dollars in this case. The wall between editorial and ad sales is sometimes less of a wall, and more of a veil. Integrity is hard to recognize sometimes, but we discuss a good example where it is flaunted.

I’m obviously biased, and I think every show is a good one, but this one in particular takes on some very complex issues and it’s exciting for me to be a part of a dialog with some people who have fantastic insight. Even if it’s a bit “inside baseball”, I think you’ll find the show well worth listening to.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ryan permalink
    April 4, 2016 8:45 AM

    Just got done listening to the show and wanted to share a couple things. First, as someone who has performed medical services at 906 cycling events I can say that vehicles are certainly a problem. There are times the promoter or other officials askpeople to drvie in the caravan or perform some other duty and they’ve never driven in a caravan before and many have never even raced before (and I’m not just talking about doing wheel support at some local event). i’ve also gotten contratcs to work races BECAUSE I have caravan experience. Some more responsible promoters recognize that as a great and rare skill to have and appreciate it. There are still times I have been zipping along a city street 80mph and praying that no kid runs out in the street. They HAVE to allocate sports on the road though…some guarenteed and some on a lottery system but there needs to be a system where there are just so many press cars, sponsors, etc.

    I had an opportunity to be on a moto at one race and a rider’s girlfriend want to ride along. I explained to her that it would be really boring. As medical, I’m always in the back (like my racing days as well) and I’m never closer than 20 yards behind the main group. By the end of the day, I’m mentally exhausted because I have to be 100% focused on whether or not riders are coming up behind me, where I am in the race, etc.nnThe only people who NEED to be in the caravan are the ones who need to be there. Otherwise, they need to be at the back of the race 1/2 mile behind the riders tossing out goodies to the fans.

    As for cycling advocacy, there is ONE thing that has been really successful in getting people on bikes and that has been the high school mountain bike racing leagues that have formed. While it’s obvious that the kids interested in mountain biking are signing up, there are a ton of kids who weren’t particularly interested or who wouldn’t otherwise sign up for a race but did it because ot looked like fun, their friends were doing it, or because they want to participate and be part of something. The cool thing about bike racing is that there is no sitting on the bench. For many kids, the reason they don’t or stop going out for the ball and stick sports is because they don’t get playing time.

    If you look at the leagues that have formed in the past few years, at the schools where there is cycling, there are more kids going out for mountain biking than for football. That’s not an exaggeration, that’s fact. Less than 5% of adults get their physical fittness through team sports, yet, in schools, that’s all we teach and that’s all that’s offered. The kids who are already interested in cycling and racing in these leagues will likely continue cycling, but there are a ton of kids to come to cycling through the high school mountain biking leagues and they otherwise would not have taken an interest or become advocates for the activity.

    It’s difficult to go to a school and have an hour to present on cycling and then hope that a few of the 500+ kids will get the cycling bug. It seems much more effective to target these leagues and throw support behind them. There is a captive audience who has already expressed enough interest to go to the meeting or sign up and there are many who are first-timers or beginners. While there is certainly a division between racing and utilitarian cycling, I believe this is a great place to get kids hooked and THEN they become the commuter and utilitarian cyclist.

    Just some thoughts from an former racer turned race event EMT turned psychotherapist who specializes in work with athletes and also owns a pedicab business.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim Jackson permalink*
      April 4, 2016 9:16 AM

      Ryan, thanks for listening to the lengthy show, as well as commenting here. I’m going to share your comment on the Spokesmen site as well, because it’s a good insight- on all the topics. Genuinely appreciate you chiming in. And, I agree.


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