grouch? maybe ..... but TdF just aint cool no more
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 43
  1. #1
    angel of the morning
    Reputation: Spirito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    2,983

    grouch? maybe ..... but TdF just aint cool no more

    Is it just me or does pro cycling seem to be getting all sterile & without substance (or perhaps too much substance). Logo'd jerseys, rare nobility, and hardly any old fashioned gentlemanliness. I prefer the old days even if they hardly earnt a penny & seemed to ride for pride, honor & the mythology of competing in a grand tour. Maybe I'm wrong but in the last decade or so (since index shifting actually) all the class & character seems to have gone out of cycling. Then again what do i know ....

    Not that its profound but current cycling seems to be one big gameshow hype, with tacky, flashy, souped up charades. Attracts idiots as spectators too. Sometimes I think Im watching some deleted scenes from The Running Man. I dont see the poetry, I dont see godliness. Maybe its there ..... but Im missing it all. Maybe they are just riding too fast for comeraderie, friendship, and colorful antics. Maybe there is just too much on the line and science has overtaken art. Maybe i just got rose colored glasses.

    Am I alone in wishing for a smaller, less commercialised sport. Just what has more money bought to cycling ??? Is it all benefits?

    This is nothing against Lance - 6 TdF wins is an extraordinary acheivement & he deserves much praise. Were this victories acheived 20 odd years ago or earlier he wouldn't have as much snide derision from public, press & those who are deemed experts. Are his victories the stuff he dreamed of? Did he climb the mountain only to realise the view is different than what he imagined? My feeling is that he isn't enamoured with the current lack of sportmanship & chivalry and that even Lance would perhaps admit the same.

    Like our bikes, we seem to be getting less for a lot more. Have we progressed or digressed? It just aint cool no more ......

    Ciao

    p.s. all the images were stolen from Aldo Ross' albums - see retro-classic forums - thanks Aldo `
    Attached Images Attached Images
    I watched him walking in and it was like they say, you know, he kind of glowed. Like a ray of light was around him. A kind of Jesus. - Spirito (interviewing Spirito)

    http://instagram.com/ciclispirito



  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    21,277

    You're absolutely right

    And 30 years from now, people will be looking back to the early part of the century (2004) and wishing for the good old days when bikes were heavy, there was no electronic positioning information, no remote telemetry of other rider's vital signs, no sophisticated on-line and continuous blood chemisty monitoring to regulate rider's efforts, etc. Yup, the good old days were better.

  3. #3

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    596
    Cant live in the past,they are gone. Relax and enjoy what we have.
    Just Ride
    03 Fuji Marseille

  4. #4
    Tig
    Tig is offline
    Clear Lake, TX
    Reputation: Tig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    3,265

    I'm tired of cycling...

    I'm going to watch bowling, synchronized swimming, and badminton on TV from now on. They are the last of the unspoiled sports!

    In all seriousness, modern professional cycling isn't any different than world cup soccer, F-1 racing, base/foot/basketball, or many other high profile sports. When big money shows up, the pure essence of a sport somehow becomes deluded. Even the Olympics have been invaded by professionals, with the US "Dream Team" basketball being the most obvious. At least the majority of the Olympics remain close to their pure roots... amateurs striving to make it to the top against the best.

    Still, I can't help but love watching the super fast pro's do what none of us can approach in terms of performance.
    "There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
    -Isaac Asimov

  5. #5
    Back from the dead
    Reputation: mohair_chair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    20,626
    Yeah, yeah, and I used to walk a mile to school in the snow, uphill both ways. Man, you sound like my dad. Everything was better back then. Bull! Do you really think it was all that different back then? Funny how the further away you get from those days, the better they look. The same thing happens in other sports, too, especially baseball. Whatever characters there are in cycling (and sports) today, there were similar characters back then, whatever 'then' you choose to focus on. Enjoy what you have today. In 20 years, you'll be lamenting why riders can't be more like Lance.

  6. #6
    AJS
    AJS is offline
    banned
    Reputation: AJS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    3,915
    I tend to agree with Spirito. For me, cycling has become just another way to sell product. Like everything else, the ads are splattered everywhere, the jerseys and even the bikes are just overdone with brand names. Does Eddy Merckx really need to put his name 10 or 12 times on his bikes?

    I think the biggest thing that's kept it from getting really bad is that it's still mostly European. If the top pro's came to America en masse and started racing regularly, pro road cycling would quickly go the way that pro MTB racing has - ie: it would completely suck.

    I think making $16 million a year (Armstrong) is way past reasonable for ANY pro athlete. As soon as you inject that kind of profit taking into something, people start getting crazy.

  7. #7
    633
    633 is offline
    Ti me up
    Reputation: 633's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    1,242
    Not to pile on here....your post is a fine specimen of the "It was better in the good old days" genre, and the pix are great. You can always throw a post of that genre on a discussion forum and get a lot of "Oh, yeahs" and "Right ons." I'm actually surprised that everybody else who's responded feels kind of like I do - that the post could've been about any sport, at almost any era in history.
    Michael



    You see lots of happy cyclists. When was the last time you saw a runner smiling?

  8. #8
    hi, I'm Larry
    Reputation: bimini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    2,254

    Just like any other sport it has to have money to survive

    Unfortunately, its tough to charge spectators for a large scale road race. So they have to pay for it through sponsors and commercialism. With this there is a lot of pressure to keep the riders, the bikes and more important the logos on both of these in front of the public.

    To me, all this money and attention is good for the sport as a whole. When I was in my late teens and early 20's I was real fast on a bike, but there were no bicycle races to be found even remotely close to where I lived , so I never got to race as a kid.

    Today, with all the attention, there are a lot of bicycle races. I started racing as an older fart a couple of years ago and I have a lot of fun at it and found I am fairly good at it. I wish there were races when I was younger, I would of found out then I had real tallent at it in time to do something with it.

    The hoopla creates a lot more visability for the sport, attracts more people and tallent, opens up the sport to a wider audience, and I believe creates a better sport. I truely believe it is good for the sport. Now if a kid wants to race he can find a race nearby to race in. If he or she is good they can progress up. If they are real good they will catch the eyes of the pro teams. It just was not that way 30 years ago in the US.

    If you don't like the mega commercialism of the euro pro series, just look at home. The US pro series is more like the pro days of old you describe. The amatuer series are clearly like the bicycle races of old you describe.

  9. #9

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    781

    Spirito, you are a poet, and poets

    rarely find an audience as sublime in perception as they are. Do not listen to these Philistines. You are of course correct.
    In case you're wondering, my avatar is a photo of a worker in chains, rising up to cast them off. An old piece of IWW (Wobbly) art.

  10. #10

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    7,890
    beautifull black and white photography!
    problem is: humans are bad. if you look up close at our flesh, desire and society... it's disgusting. the memory is the best artist ever: it makes us look good, noble and harmonious. at least we have memory... in a few yrs they may have a way to erase it! have you seen the latest charlie kauffmann movie?
    www.flaviocolker.com.br
    i am in love w/a black woman.

  11. #11
    angel of the morning
    Reputation: Spirito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    2,983

    well .....

    I would like to point out ......

    very, very little of the Billion dollar industry gets kicked back to amteur & junior ranks for racing, development & coaching. be honest ... I used to race as well and whilst i loved every minute of it, discounts, facilities & sponsored events ..... tokenism, if that. Its still mum & dads that support & pay for all of young johnny's love of cycling (& yes its an expensive one). Id say Microsoft looks like Mother Teresa compared to the turkeys that push our credit card impulses, yet we lap it up.

    I am certain that cycling was a sport & pastime that is a little different to others - I thought that a buffer of nobility & grace would always remain but it hasn't - yet it easily could have. Name a past TdF winner who would have as much sh1t slung at him or former champs step up to dismiss his acheivements. I cant beleive that Lance has been privy to all this "chatter" without walking away in disgust. 6 TdF's and peep's cant show some respect. I havent heard a comparative squeek of such escalated banter from fans, establishment, governing bodies and previous champs about Jordan or Schumacher. Why are we such gutter dwellers?

    Each TdF winner would have gladly went through the same effort & single minded passion to wear the Maiilot Jaune into Paris for not one penny. I have no doubt they would have done it for love. Love and that extreme drive to win the Ulitmate prize is what makes a champion. A champion is still to me something very special ..... all came and tried from around the world yet only one is victorious. Only a champion's heart is true and espcially in our sport, especially for the TdF does a champion win from true effort, zeal and blinding obsession & determination. I'll happily stand naked atop the Arc de Triomphe next year if any of you can really prove that any TdF winner was motivated primarily by money.

    Its our sport - we feed the animal with our $'s, we should be in power to set rules and make it not only a level playing field but something we need not hide or play a charade about. I dont care for the arguement "that all sports are becoming the same". So what, this sport, one which i enjoy & practice is what i have pride about. Im sure im not alone. It tires me to hear from friends & acquaintances who have no interest in cycling immediately proclaim that all pro's are dopers. We decide how the UCI should govern & sanction. Russw19 has a very pertinent post in the TdF where he expressed some really bare facts that we need to all think more deeply about .....

    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/sho...91553#poststop

    I understand most of you seem to dissagree with me but thats how i feel. Cycling just aint cool, many issues need addressing. Some of you have forgotten that sport is fun, charming, moving and inspiring as well as competetive. Nothing can compare to the beauty & joy of riding a bike ... a symbiosis of man & machine, the most efficient way to cover ground still to this day & yet it is also engaging, soothing and addictive. We all know the thrill of being fast. That we should expect to carry on such lofty ideals from those talented enough who compete at the highest levels & also from those who convene & govern the major events is not a big ask ... in fact we are owed such small dispense of value & integrity. I dont have children but many of you do: I assume its natural to want to share your love of something good with them. Yet how many of you as parents would be happy to let Johnny & Jenny follow their dreams to become pro cyclists? For the most part there is a quagmire of bad sports, toothless officials whose eye is on their own prize/pocket/ego, an industry without morals or humane regard for its representatives, formers pro's who choose to be whiny *****es rather grandiose Fathers & a public that expects blood while at the same time is quick to denounce even the greatest of acheivements. Even with all of that, the current state of pro-cycling is for the most part boring & without much character or chivalry. That my friends is not true sport.

    Dont invite guests when your house aint clean.

    ciao
    I watched him walking in and it was like they say, you know, he kind of glowed. Like a ray of light was around him. A kind of Jesus. - Spirito (interviewing Spirito)

    http://instagram.com/ciclispirito



  12. #12
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,633

    Selective memories.

    When people look back at 60's music they remember "Satisfaction" or "Sunshine of Your Love" not "Sugar Sugar" or "Sweet Pea". Looking back at Tour de France heroes we hear much more of Merckx and Hinault than we do of Jacques Anquetil, who admitted then and now to be racing primarily for the money. Life and sports weren't perfect then either, but our memories can make them what we wish them to be.

    Sports happen in the present and can't be expected to be preserved as they once were. Clinging to an idealized past, whether Eddy or Che, diminishes the potential for joy in the present and the future.
    We have nothing to lube but our chains.

  13. #13
    Old and Fixed, Moderator
    Reputation: Dave Hickey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    20,473
    Spirito says: I'll happily stand naked atop the Arc de Triomphe next year if any of you can really prove that any TdF winner was motivated primarily by money"

    I'm buying my ticket to Paris today. I want to see this

    Jacques Anquetil reason for not going for a sixth win was because he could not make any more money by doing do. Mssr. Anquetil is probably one of my favorite Tour riders. He would go out drinking, smoking and chasing woman the night beforee a stage. He'd arrive at the stage hungover and still kick a$$.

    Don't get me wrong Spirito, I agree with your original post. The romance is gone from most of todays sports.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

    My 3Rensho Blog: http://vintage3rensholove.blogspot.com/

  14. #14

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,360

    Feel that way about NASCAR, SCCA, mountain bikes...

    That might be a sign of age. When I started mountain biking almost 20 years ago, you pretty much just showed up in your jeans and rode the bike. When I was racing sports cars, you drove your car to the track, put a number on the side with shoe polish and ran the race, then drove home. I covered NASCAR for awhile in the early '70s, and guys would tow in their one car behind their 10-year-old pickup, roll it off in the pits and then sleep on a mattress in the trailer. It all costs dozens of times as much now, and they go a little faster and get lots of spectators, but I don't think anybody's having a dozen times the fun.

  15. #15
    Old and Fixed, Moderator
    Reputation: Dave Hickey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    20,473
    I think it's age too. Prior to cycling my passion was racing sailboats. Today's boats look to floating billboards. When I raced, commercial sponsorship will illegal.. I wonder how many of the people that agree with Spirito's post ride lugged steel frames?
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

    My 3Rensho Blog: http://vintage3rensholove.blogspot.com/

  16. #16
    Back from the dead
    Reputation: mohair_chair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    20,626
    Okay, how would you make it cool again? How would you make it fun, charming, moving and inspiring as well as competetive?

    Have you considered that it IS fun, charming, moving and inspiring as well as competetive, but that's not what you are seeing on TV? We always see the head of the race, but don't see a lot of the middle and and the end. We caught a few glimpses during this past Tour.

    I thought Voeckler was pretty damned inspiring on stages 12 and 13, when he was reaching way down into his "suitcase of courage" to finish with the yellow jersey. How could you not be pulling for the guy? We were lucky to see glimpses of Virenque, from a rival team, helping him get up the mountain. Virenque is French and was helping a Frenchman, but what about Virenque's Belgian team Quick-Step, giving Voeckler food and water from the team car. I thought that was pretty cool.

    Moving was how USPS waited after the TTT finish, delaying the ceremonies, for their teammate Noval to come in. And when he did come in, he was in tears, and Lance himself consoled him and told him everything was cool. I don't think Noval was in tears because he thought he was losing money.

    Who knows how many little stories like this we missed because there aren't cameras everywhere? Just like reality TV, they can selectively film and edit things to present the message they want you to believe, but you don't see the real story or the context behind it. Considering how much footage we DON'T have of Tours of old, it's impossible to compare them to today and say anything is lost. I think if we had a lot of footage from the old days, we'd discover that the Tours aren't all that different today.

  17. #17
    Travels by Map
    Reputation: nate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    3,060
    Complain all you want, but the current Tour de France will bring yet more cyclers, which is a good thing. If kids make some choice between cycling and video games, for instance, because of Lance Armstrong (or some other rider) and the Tour de France, that's great.

    Also, I'd like to see some examples of the way you say there was more style, substance, and especially the class and character being better just 10-15 years ago. There were a number of cheaters all through the history of the Tour de France, there have been fights among spectators, and many times riders, including Eddie Merckx, have been punched or kicked by spectators in those "better" days.

    The sponsors are spending a lot of money from their endorsements, but most people can afford a bicycle. They already give the race(s) away for free, essentially. More people on bikes means healthier, happier people, in general. That's a good thing.

    That said, it would be nice if sponsors put more money and effort into things like youth and community biking, supporting bike routes, and things like that. I think that would help everyone.
    Last edited by nate; 07-26-2004 at 08:50 AM.

  18. #18

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    1,198
    Times certainly do evolve, but tell me: "What was it about the spectator punching out Eddie Mercx on the Alp D'Huez that you found to be so classy?"

  19. #19
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Fredrico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    27,165

    Still alive and well...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cory
    That might be a sign of age. When I started mountain biking almost 20 years ago, you pretty much just showed up in your jeans and rode the bike. When I was racing sports cars, you drove your car to the track, put a number on the side with shoe polish and ran the race, then drove home. I covered NASCAR for awhile in the early '70s, and guys would tow in their one car behind their 10-year-old pickup, roll it off in the pits and then sleep on a mattress in the trailer. It all costs dozens of times as much now, and they go a little faster and get lots of spectators, but I don't think anybody's having a dozen times the fun.
    Like any human endeavor, sports evolve with history. I used to ride by Lone Star Race Track, just off the Winona exit on Interstate 30, in East Texas. Every Saturday night, the local guys with the old pickups haul their race cars, souped up and gussied up 20 year old cars. Few of these guys had the money for good stuff. They'd compete with what they could cobble together in their garages, which was alot more fun anyway. Lots of NASCAR style dirt racing is still common throughout the South, much of it under the radar of the marketing people, or sponsored by local businesses.

    Second Mohair Chair. What cycling needs are some good journalists who can ferret out the dramas hidden in the peleton, concentrate on the dynamic of superb athletes sparring with each other, playing on weaknesses, taking advantage of luck. Bicycle racing isn't like any other sport, but the commentators haven't quite discovered that yet.

    So many good things have happened to cycling since the 70s, accelerated by fitness, diet and nutrition, global warming, energy costs, and it is the perfect anti-dote for a workday perched over a computer terminal, with plenty of gee-whiz technology to keep the sport evolving. If there's some anxiety over drug usage or money ruining the sport, it's a growing pain, something the sport has to go through. Biking is going to explode in the next hundred years, and it will become a world wide sport.

  20. #20
    Ethical Nihilist
    Reputation: macalu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    1,068

    Spirito....

    I am with you 110%. Its back to friction shifters for me.
    Work?! -- Maynard G. Krebs

  21. #21

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    Posts
    3,567

    same?

    I firmly believe that Lance does it for the competition, and would be just as motivated on a $20k salary. The money is gravy, and merely his share of a big money making machine. I don't think you can put yourself though all that misery merely for money. You'd have to love it.

  22. #22

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    97
    Quote Originally Posted by Spirito
    I understand most of you seem to dissagree with me but thats how i feel. Cycling just aint cool, many issues need addressing. Some of you have forgotten that sport is fun, charming, moving and inspiring as well as competetive. Nothing can compare to the beauty & joy of riding a bike ... a symbiosis of man & machine, the most efficient way to cover ground still to this day & yet it is also engaging, soothing and addictive. We all know the thrill of being fast. That we should expect to carry on such lofty ideals from those talented enough who compete at the highest levels & also from those who convene & govern the major events is not a big ask ... in fact we are owed such small dispense of value & integrity. I dont have children but many of you do: I assume its natural to want to share your love of something good with them. Yet how many of you as parents would be happy to let Johnny & Jenny follow their dreams to become pro cyclists? For the most part there is a quagmire of bad sports, toothless officials whose eye is on their own prize/pocket/ego, an industry without morals or humane regard for its representatives, formers pro's who choose to be whiny *****es rather grandiose Fathers & a public that expects blood while at the same time is quick to denounce even the greatest of acheivements. Even with all of that, the current state of pro-cycling is for the most part boring & without much character or chivalry. That my friends is not true sport.

    Dont invite guests when your house aint clean.

    ciao
    I'm with you. 'Professional Sports' is an oxymoron.

  23. #23

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    97
    Quote Originally Posted by DougSloan
    I firmly believe that Lance does it for the competition, and would be just as motivated on a $20k salary. The money is gravy, and merely his share of a big money making machine. I don't think you can put yourself though all that misery merely for money. You'd have to love it.
    Professional athletes are no different than any other professional, be it blue or white collar. In my perfect world, there would be only prize money. Sponsorships would be limited to equipment and expenses (REAL expenses) only. No salaries. My point is that they're in it for the money. It's their JOB. Sure, for some it may be their passion too, but I'd bet the percentage is no different than that of any other profession. It's something that they're good at and can earn a living by doing. There's nothing wrong with that, but don't misconstrue their motivations.

    Would this decimate 'sports' as we know it? Absolutely! But at least what was left would be sport with athletes who truly cared about the sport and the sportsmanship -- not how lucrative their contracts are. Pure and undiluted sports.

  24. #24
    AJS
    AJS is offline
    banned
    Reputation: AJS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    3,915
    I firmly believe that Lance does it for the competition, and would be just as motivated on a $20k salary.

    Yep. That's what he means when he says he's "Driven by what's inside" while sitting in his new Subaru, right? And all of his other commercials and endorsements he does gratis I suppose?



    "'Belief" means not wanting to know what is true." - F. Nietzsche

  25. #25
    eminence grease
    Reputation: terry b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    18,538
    I don't think we can expect to like them in the same way.

    That was "then" and "then" was a certain thing unto itself.

    This is "now" and "now" is a completely different animal. Capable of being derided or appreciated as a different thing until itself.

    I like retro and I like high-tech. But the time for retro is over, and we can't go back. High-tech is what we have now, and we have to appreciate it for what it is. Some will hate it, some will like it. I count myself among the latter. Certainly it's not "cool" in the way that retro was, as today's authors aren't "cool" in the way Kerouac was. Doesn't mean that one is better than the other. You pick and you stick or you pick and you move on. Lamenting the past is a game for all the sad young men.

    As far as the fans go - yes, we have a lot of shallow newbies and we have a lot of animals. Let's not forget though why Merckx didn't win 6 - a well placed assault by a fan. And none of the riders were treated to strychnine laced water this year either. Somethings I think don't change, they just get amplified.

    Much like Formula One - could there be anything better than Juan-manuel Fangio or Sterling Moss sitting in a jade-green, front-engined rocket barreling around Monza? Probably not. But now we have Schumacher and clock-work precision. Both beautiful, both staggering.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. TDF Negativity
    By vl1016 in forum Pro Cycling - Tour de France
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-20-2004, 07:47 AM
  2. Book about TDF Planning and Logistics
    By njmtbbg in forum Pro Cycling - Tour de France
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-18-2004, 05:09 PM
  3. Heart Rates of TDF Riders - Very Cool Site
    By Uprwstsdr in forum General Cycling Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-30-2004, 11:14 AM
  4. OLN's latest TdF schedule
    By Asiago in forum General Cycling Discussion
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 05-19-2004, 02:02 PM
  5. My cool birthday gift
    By PaulCL in forum General Cycling Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-01-2004, 12:55 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT ROADBIKEREVIEW

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.