Friday, October 28, 2011

Did they just say 'skirt'?

I've been participating in athletics and sports since I was a kid playing kickball with the boys on the playground. As I got older, I gravitated to various Asian martial art disciplines, the practice of which impacts my fitness and flexibility to this day. It didn't strike me as odd that a young woman wanted to do these things, and I wore the same uniforms as the men did. I had to change in a different room and I couldn't just strip my shirt off at the end of a workout session, no big deal; no one cared.

With an Olympic year approaching, women will be allowed to box for the first time! Cool, huh? I'm really excited to watch the men's and women's tae kwon do and judo competitions, as well.

So, enter the Amateur International Boxing Commission. They want the female boxers to wear skirts. Skirts! It would be one thing if skirts were a part of the traditional uniform, like for field hockey, but they aren't. The Commission's reasoning for this is "It will make the women easier to distinguish from the men, as if the completely different bodies wasn't enough. Poland adopted the uniform, calling the uniforms more 'elegant' and 'womanly.'" You mean, the different body shape, slimmer musculature, etc. won't be enough?! For the Olympic sports of fencing, tae kwon do, and judo (all "combat" sports) the women wear the same uniform as the men, it's practical!

Boxers have always worn shorts or "trunks". They're practical, they cover what they need to cover, the athlete can move in them, what's the problem? And, heaven knows men mustn't think women have *gasp* hips or thighs. Am I also incorrect in thinking that giving the ring-side judges a view is inappropriate?

Until next time, ride long and keep the rubber-side down.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Another Save!

There was quiet fuming in my corner of the world when I read about the dissolving of Colavita-Forno D'Asolo squad on Monday. But, today, I feel a little more kindly disposed towards the veritable circus that is professional cycling.

Colavita's Heal to lead new, big budget women's squad

This is excellent news: More resources, both money-wise and marketing-wise to keep the squad training and riding, able to recruit new talent, and travel to more races. They'll also have the funding to bring in both veterans and new riders, getting a well-rounded, deep squad with the talent to bring home the hardware.

Until next time, ride long and keep the rubber-side down.

Monday, October 24, 2011

What is happening?!

Days like these I wonder if the cycling world truly is imploding.

Top-Ranked NRC Team Colavita-Forno D'Asolo Folds

"'Without any intention of offending those many wonderful cycling industry companies who have supported our programs for many years, I must admit the direct cause of Colavita ending its women's team title sponsorship was in fact losing key industry supplier support,' Profaci said."

Wow, I'm baffled that another winning team (the HTC-HighRoad men's squad has already folded) has had sponsors back out. I really wonder what the reasoning is, too.
Is the down economy putting the squeeze on sponsorship money? Are these companies not seeing enough up-tick in business from sponsorship that they've decided not to put up the cash? Do they not want to be seen supporting a "dirty" sport, despite the huge strides and ongoing efforts to catch dopers and clean up the sport?

Until next time, ride long and keep the rubber-side down.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Downsizing, please don't panic!

How do you make the playing field as level as possible? How do you give smaller teams a good shot at winning against bigger, more well-funded teams? How can you, as a race organizer, keep fans coming back to your event year after year; how do you keep it fresh? These are questions that are always on the minds of race organizers, no matter if it's Le Tour or a local event on the NRC.

Nature Valley cuts men's teams to six riders

The organizers of the Nature Valley Grand Prix are cutting the men's teams from eight to six riders, the thought being to shake up the podiums and make the racing more exciting for the spectators. Racers and team directors will have to [even more] carefully choose which riders they take to the race and what role each rider will play. Thankfully, the women's teams will still field teams of eight riders. It makes sense, as the women's peloton is smaller than the men's field and needs all the racers it can get.

Until next time, ride long and keep the rubber-side down.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Under Lock and Key

I've seen a lot of bikes get stolen over the years, especially in the city and on college campuses. It seems like no matter if the bike is a Schwinn from the 1970's or a newer mountain bike, if it has wheels, it gets stolen.

So, what can you do about it? The answer is obvious, lock your bike. But more than just lock your bike, lock it up properly. Just locking it may be a deterrent, but not locking your bike correctly may also increase the chances of someone riding away.

This guy is a mechanic in NYC and, though loud and opinionated (it is New York after all) he's got good points about how to properly lock your bike up:

1. Make sure the pole or rack that you're going to lock to is securely planted in the ground
2. Anything you want to see again, take with you: Helmet, lights, panniers, etc.
3. Use both a strong U-lock and a cable to lock your rear wheel and the frame to the bike rack and the front wheel to the U-lock.
4. Use a smaller cable to lock your saddle to your frame, or mark your seatpost and take your saddle with you.

Until next time, ride long and keep the rubber-side down.

Monday, October 10, 2011

It Leaks!

And, again! Giro d'Italia Stages Also Leaked?

The big announcement for the Tour de France route every year is usually in the middle of October, so I didn't think anything big was going on when I logged onto CyclingNews this morning and saw "2012 Tour de France Revealed" at the top of headlines. Then I read the article's sub-title, "Race owner ASO published 2012 itinerary by

To quote Captain Jack Sparrow, "Apparently, there's a leak".

Oh well, this gives us diehards an extra week to analyze the route, the terrain, and make predictions about who will snatch which jersey next July.

Until next time, ride long and keep the rubber-side down.