Friday, July 15, 2016

Friday News And Views

From last year's GTDRI
Guitar Ted Death Ride Recon:

Hopefully tomorrow is the great day that the weather people have forecasted because I need to get down South and ride a bit of the gravel we want to use for the Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational coming up here on July 30th.

The plan I have is to meet at Prairie Grove Park, (Formerly known as Dinosaur Park back in the day), where the GTDRI will start this year and take the route as far as it goes until we get to about 5 miles South of Traer and then we will loop back around to come back to Waterloo. I expect to leave the park at 8:00am.

The wind is forecast to be out of the Southeast, so that should push us back home. My plan is to cut back over West far enough to catch the "Wolf Creek Wall" and then up to Ridge Road and from just Northwest of Traer to go back North to Waterloo. So, there will be some hills, but I wanted to see if that bridge over the Wolf Creek on J Avenue has been replaced since T.I.v10.

So, a big adventure, and I know of a couple of folks that may tag along with me. It should be a great day. Hoping to get a read on the roads and get a bit of a report out by early next week for the ride coming up. Stay tuned......

Chaos At LeTour:

Well, I usually don't have a whole lot to say about Pro road cycling, but I work at a shop where the boss is a dyed in the wool roadie and the Tour plays on a huge screen live every day it is being run. So it was that the stage up Mont Ventoux was being shown.

Now I do like a good show of climbing prowess, so I kept an eye cocked as the leaders were coming within a few kilometers of the finish line. That's when the fireworks usually happen. Riders will try to knock off a few seconds by putting in huge efforts and separate themselves from their rivals. So, here I was catching a few seconds when the commentators start getting hyperventilated and there is an image shown of the Yellow jersey wearer, Chris Froome, running without his bicycle! 

Yes, that was highly unusual, and for a few minutes, the chaos of the situation prevented viewers and commentators alike from sorting out just what had happened. Of course, by now you probably have heard that three riders, including Froome, ran into the back of a TV moto which in turn had apparently stopped suddenly to avoid hitting the crowd which was insane. The people lining the roads are always pressing in and getting in the way on climbs. Have been for years.

Now, there have been a lot of incidents with moto drivers hitting or impeding cyclists in Pro road races over the last several years, so I am not discounting that this is a more recent issue, however, the crowd issue is nothing new. Think about Armstrong getting caught up in a spectator's bag. Think about Eddy Merckx getting punched on the Puy de Dome. There are many more examples from the last few decades.

I'm not condoning the incident yesterday, but all I am saying is that the outrage concerning the stage finish yesterday should be couched in the light of years of incidents and not seen as a "recent issue" as it is seemingly being portrayed by many.  Should something be done? Well, what could you do in reality? The Tour is big business and those fans are spending lots of dollars in the local economy. You just cannot brush aside decades of tradition that has allowed fans such close proximity to competing athletes. It is a "sticky wicket", and there is no easy answer to this issue. I just hope that something can be found that will get the message through to these crazed spectators so that we do not see something even worse happen in the future.

And yes......there are way too many motos on course!!

Okay, that's a wrap for this week. Have a fun, safe weekend, y'all!


phillip Cowan said...

Too many team cars and support vehicles also. Remember a few years ago when a driver side swiped Johnny Hoogerland and Juan Antonio Flecha sending Flecha to the pavement and Hoogerland into barbed wire fence. Thomas Voeckler was just ahead of the car and narrowly missed getting himself.

Robert Ellis said...

Those spectators are really no worse than a really bad minimal maintenance road, particularly after a rain!!