The Spokesmen #135 – Jim’s Geography Lesson

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Today’s Spokespeople:



Cyclist Safety and Advocacy

Industry News


Tips, Hints and Best Practices

  • Rick: OldSchoolCyclist trivia
    Question from Last Time: You’re an #OldSchoolCyclist™ when you know the next term in this series: Edouard, Louis, Joseph, Baron…
  • Answer: Merckx
  • New Question (#502): You’re an #OldSchoolCyclist if you know what you had to drill out when the pin extractor failed and the hammer wouldn’t budge it
  • Answer: next time!

How to Listen:


  1. I enjoyed the bit about Tom Demerly’s piece. The issue reminds me of professional wrestling in the 1980s, perhaps into the 1990s. And Vanilla Ice. You are not sentient if you thought media reviews in the cycling industry were 95% honest, that pro wrestling isn’t staged, or that artists lip sync on stage. Oh, the scandal! And yet, after the first one gets outed, the consuming public just accepts it and keeps buying.

    So what do you suppose is going to happen next? Nothing. Dishonest reviews are now out?, everyone knows it’s hype (like cable news channels), and they’ll keep watching and buying. “News is a product for sale”, (even cycling industry news). (Enter the trite responses: the internet isn’t going away, you can’t stop progress, yada yada.)

    Integrity is for luddites, Jim. Those of us who still pine for it won’t have many visit our funerals, and most of them are wishing we would hurry up and get on with our bucket-kicking.

    What entertained me about the show were the pregnant pauses, hesitant reactions, trying to explain why it happens. Really? C’mon. It’s like trying to deny the staging in wrestling. And Baghdad Bob.

    In the April 18 show, I also particularly enjoyed all the talk about early product reveals, distribution practices leading to fewer brands & shops, discounting, etc. I was a little open-jawed at the comments that this is bad for brick-and-mortar leading to question why-do-brands-do-this??!

    Cue Mr. Obvious – a previous comment during the same episode when someone said it makes people ask for things the retailer doesn’t have to sell while he cannot sell what he has. Duh! That is exactly what brands want. That is why they (drumroll:)reveal. They want the early press and buzz. They want to drive consumers to wait on them and not buy a competitor. They already sold what is sitting on brick-and-mortar shelves and certainly aren’t going to take it back. They want it to move off into your favorite sponsor, JensonUSA’s hands so that the sucker brick-and-mortars buy the new inventory when it IS available and start the inventory-shoving cycle all over again.

    Like reviews and SEO marketing, like distribution practices, heck like discount retailers – remember what teach in law school – follow the money?

    It’s all about the money. And I am always entertained when people act surprised and try to make the issue more complex than it is trying to explain around this simple motivation.

    Someone commented on the show (18th?) that no industry is as [poorly disciplined] as this one. As a consultant, that might be overstated, but I do appreciate an entertaining overstatement. 😉 Actually, industries run the gamut – some are great at managing their marketplace and others are terrible. Even larger industries with big money stakes (Singular companies as large as the entire cycling industry) have trouble with leadership development:

    A Lost Generation of Leaders

    Specialty cycling is not alone, but it is certainly hard to one side of that scale. Unfortunately, it has some influential leaders that like it that way for some reason and cannot understand the problem (otherwise facing it might put them into a short-term cash crunch and they can’t have that!).

    I ran a hell of a shop (profitable) but I am happy to have escaped before the specialty industry finishes driving away the bulk of its remaining sub-$1000 customers.


  2. May 2, 2016

    Call me a Luddite, then, because I still believe that honor, integrity, honesty and loyalty are important and necessary virtues for the preservation of society.

  3. Hans
    May 3, 2016

    Thibaut Pinot is not on the Giro start list for FDJ, contrary to the discuss about contentors for the Italian Tour’s Time Trails.

  4. May 3, 2016

    Hans- you’re right. I can’t remember if it was me who mentioned him, but it likely was. FDY will be going all in for Demare, but he’ll have his hands very full trying to get around Kittel and Greipel- not to mention Caleb Ewan.

  5. Dan
    May 4, 2016

    Another great show. Too bad you muzzled Moss, though. I’m still chuckling over “Original intent died with Justice Scalia.”

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