The Spokesmen #126 – Are you there, Rich?

Listen now by clicking here:


Today’s Spokespeople:

 Topics Included


Cyclist Safety and Advocacy

Industry News

Spokesmen Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Ride of Note

  • Campagnolo Toy Drive/Ride – December 12, 2015 (Facebook Link)

How to Listen:


  1. simon griffin
    December 9, 2015

    Hey guys, great podcast as usual. Carlton, interesting your take on doping as it relates to rugby. Generally rugby is very clean, the body shape change you refer to is the result of an amateur sport going professional. Previously players worked 9-5 jobs and trained evenings and played on weekends. Now they are paid to train hours and hours a day and play on weekends. hope that helps explain the contrast you commented on. Rugby world cup check out the doping testing protocols.–world-rugby

  2. Andy LaCombe
    December 9, 2015

    Can you PLEASE fix Rich’s audio. That is so annoying listening to him speak because his feed is intermittent. Say maybe 10% dropout on a continuous basis. Why is everyone else fine but Rich sounds like he is Skypeing from the dark side of Mars?

    YOU have an awesome podcast, but that audio issue for me is a big deal.

  3. December 9, 2015

    Andy: I’m really sorry about this. Unfortunately, Skype is an imperfect technology and can be quite fickle. Rich is on a very fast connection, but for some reason he has indeed been having some issues lately. I know that this bothers him as much as, perhaps more than, the listeners, so he is doing all he can to get it fixed. In the meantime, we appreciate your comments and your patience. Thanks for listening!

  4. DP-San Diego
    December 10, 2015

    Being a heavy user and lover of hydraulic disc brakes, I found the anti-disc brake talk difficult to listen to. First off, unless a cable-actuated caliper pulls in evenly on both sides of the rotor, it should be banned. They don’t offer the benefits of disc brakes and just confuse customers. Second, I don’t anti-lock technology is necessary. The only time I’ve crashed because of grabby brakes was when I had a slightly warped disc. Unfortunately, not even the bike shop identified the rotor as the source of the pulsing I was experiencing on a new bike. Third, rotor straightening tools should be banned. The rotor needs to be flatter than you can check by eye. Forth, probably the reason I don’t think anti-lock tech is necessary is that undamaged hydraulic disc brakes aren’t grabby like calipers. The braking action is smooth and very controllable. You feel when the pads engage and then you squeeze against back-pressure to increase the deceleration. I strongly agree that they are perfect for road consumers. I felt much safer commuting, with many cars around, on hydraulic disc brakes. I could always out-brake the cars.

  5. December 10, 2015

    DP- I agree that disc brakes are superior brakes. What I have a hard time with, and this is coming from somebody who is paid to market things in the industry, is the use of pro teams and riders as the marketing tool for a consumer product. Pros, overwhelmingly, don’t want disc brakes yet. YET. Teams, most definitely do not want disc brakes yet. YET. There are just too many logistical and practical issues to work out for the racing world still. So- for me- it’s disingenuous to claim that the brakes are the performance advantage racers and teams have been begging for … because that simply isn’t true. Again- hydraulic disc brakes especially, are the superior brake. I agree. BUT … they are the answer to MANY problems and requests of the “regular” rider, as opposed to WorldTour teams/ riders.

  6. December 11, 2015

    I dunno, Simon, I dunno. Maybe that’s one of the reasons (and the Lycra mix in the jersey fabrics might even be another) but there are many many rumours of steroid abuse in rugby, and for rugby to be totally clean flies in the face of experience from other sports.

    Granted, though, rugby is *very* different to other sports, witness the respect show to referees and the good-natured crowds, for instance.

  7. ibc
    December 14, 2015

    Infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure.

    Kids will use bikes to the extent that there are safe, *useful* routes to go places.

    I think it would be useful to have a guest on your show from one of the urban areas that have done great work building out infrastructure. I live in DC, and the number of families you see biking together is an eye-opener. Other cities in the US are seeing a similar boom. Cycling will grow in the US to the extent that urban places with bicycling infrastructure continue to grow.

    To the extent that the bike industry and local governments can encourage the growth of infrastructure, the bike industry will reap the benefits.

    (Dismissing road safety as “checking a box” is totally misunderstanding the problem as is expecting to grow cycling as a mass-market activity by getting kids into racing.)

  8. ibc
    December 15, 2015

    This is the fundamental issue:

    I wanted to live in a place where the children would be able to travel on their own to the corner store, to school, and to meet up with friends. Meanwhile, most American children have been raised in a controlling – and parentally burdensome – environment of arranged play dates and adult-organized activities. Whereas most children walked to school 50 years ago, virtually none do so today, due to both the location of homes and schools and the fear of crime.

    Perhaps the trend can be dated to the Ethan Patz tragedy 33 years ago. My brother, who lives a typical U.S. life in a newer Sunbelt metro area, showed me how close his children’s schools are to his home. No one walks or rides a bike, though they easily could. If everyone were doing it, he said, he would gladly have them walk or bike to school, but if his kids were the only ones on the street, they could be a target. I can’t disagree with that. So they drive the kids to and pick them up from three different schools and after school activities, trying to coordinate carpools with other parents, while also driving to two jobs, shopping and everything else. Life might get a little easier soon, when their oldest son can drive, but then they will somehow have to come up with the money to keep a third car on the road.

  9. December 15, 2015

    IBC- I agree that infrastructure is a big part of it, but with that infrastructure comes A LOT of education for all parties. Drivers need to be aware of other road users and their needs, as well as education for the kids on safe riding/ walking to and from school. I rode my bike to school or walked from the time I was in 6th grade- but that was back in Alabama.

    Even with the infrastructure, which is slowly increasing here in San Diego, parents have to feel safe letting their children ride or walk- and school districts have to be willing to allow it. MANY of the schools across San Diego have removed the bike racks or corrals because they have actively discouraged kids from riding to school out of fear for their safety. Sad.

    Still, I see glimmers of hope hear and there. And hopefully they continue to shine. We’re getting more bike lines in San Diego. That’s a good start.

  10. ibc
    December 17, 2015


    Absolutely, it’s a matter of education. But w=hat we’ve seen in DC is that when you build infrastructure, it “normalizes” cycling. From what I’ve seen, young adults ride first, men then women. But over time you get more universal adoption. (Bikeshare has certainly helped as well…which, again, “more infrastructure”.)

    Obviously this all requires political leadership, but it seems to me that the industry could get the most bang for its buck by there. Take a page from the history of the automakers: it’s always been about lobbying for infrastructure and car-friendly laws.

    Anyway, I really enjoy the podcasts: keep up the good work.


  11. December 17, 2015

    IBC- buddy, we’re on the same page. And I agree as well that the industry writ large would do well to support more efforts to grow infrastructure, and education of the driving public. We have many new separated bike lines through the downtown corridor here, and it’s beginning to pay off with more people using them. Sadly, it’s the local business district (especially where I live) fighting the addition/ expansion of bike lanes because they claim it robs them of more parking spaces. Safety for cycling is trumped by commerce … nearly every time around here. Pathetically.

    All that said, the local advocacy groups and the county planners are pushing ahead and trying to add more. #fingerscrossed

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