The Spokesmen 27 – March 10, 2008

The 27th episode of The Spokesmen Cycling Podcast included David from The FredCast Cycling Podcast, Richard from Cyclelicious, and Donna Tocci from Kryptonite.

Among the topics we discussed:

This show is dedicated to the memory of Sheldon Brown.

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  1. March 11, 2008

    I’m still listening but I’ve already noticed a couple of mistakes I’ve made that should be corrected in these notes:

    * I called the Tuscon Shootout a “race” — it’s not, it’s a large group ride.

    * I called the Cupertino cyclists triathletes. I think Kristy Gough is the only triathletes; the other cyclists in the group are amateur racers.

  2. March 11, 2008

    Hey Fritz – I had a big, huge mistake, too….it happens.
    Mine? I interrupted myself as I was talking about doping and ended up saying, I am for “better doping”….pause…then a completely different thought. I should have finished that sentence to say, “I am totally for better doping controls” obviously, since that is what my rant was about, and then continued the next thought. It’s just that I was a little feisty about the topic and had all those thoughts in my head at once.
    I’ve worked on not interrupting other people but, clearly, I should use the same practice on myself!
    You sounded great, BTW, as did David.
    Really enjoyed the “bloopers”, David.

  3. March 11, 2008

    We all know that you’re for better dope, DOnna πŸ™‚ It was a fun show, as the bloopers attest πŸ™‚

  4. March 11, 2008

    Great show; I am glad the Spokesmen is back.

    One of you, Fritz I believe, mentioned that 3 foot passing laws are not really applicable in urban traffic. As someone who has bike commuted for 20 years, I agree. If you ride to close to the edge of the road, you are inviting cars to pass you at an uncomfortably close distance. In city traffic, I almost always take the lane and ride at the speed of traffic. Even if you can’t ride the speed of traffic, sometimes taking a good portion of the lane is necessary for safety. I certainly don’t advocate intentionally holding up traffic, but it is never a good idea to put yourself in a dangerous situation in the name of courtesy.

  5. Tom
    March 12, 2008

    Hey hey,

    Not to be negative, but hey, it’s not your best effort this episode. Keep at it though; I’m still a fan!

    Thoughts, not to seem overly negative or anything:

    – Why would a random American cycling team like Rock Racing lead up an international unionisation effort? They’re not a known name in international cycling – just a flashy American crew. If they did try to lead the effort they’d alienate much of the European cycling community. And I bet the Volvos mentioned cost more than the Cadillacs! πŸ˜‰

    – You (and many others) suggest that Astana is a completely new team, just with the same name. This isn’t really true though – much of the roster is exactly the same, even if the big names and manager are different. Also worth remembering is that when they were Liberty-Seguros they were implicated in dodgy drug issues, but were allowed to carry on as they ‘were completely different’ in 2007 – yet they continued on with the same dodgy activity as before. Even their new folk are not without some significant question marks. Essentially, they’d had their second chance and blew it – there’s no reason they deserved a third even if they’ve put a new face on themselves. Better to give the spots to deserving up-and-coming teams like Barloworld, though I’ll certainly concede that not having the incumbent champion in the TDF will be, at best, rather awkward.

    – Alleycats, at least around here (UK), often have no organiser, thus calling on organisers to better control them is kind of tricky. They also take on many forms, like treasure hunts, etc. It’s sort of anarchist fixie chic. I was quite surprised to hear that Kryptonite sponsors them in the States – corporate sponsorship would be ever-so-‘uncool’ and rather defeat the point amongst the fixie hipster crowd that attends them o’er here (at least in my city).

    Anyhow, not to seem the negative cynic here – just thoughts that occurred to me while listening to the show just now. Keep it up though! I enjoy the variety of cycling-related topics discussed. And bring back the British chap! Someone needs to keep all you colonials in line! πŸ™‚

  6. March 13, 2008

    Free the Newcastle One!

    Thanks for your comment, Tom. My broadband has been down a week and it was a real shame to miss out on the fun had by Richard, Donna and David.

  7. Andy
    March 16, 2008

    Great to see the show back!
    As an Brit in NZ I miss hearing Carlton too πŸ™‚
    Looking forward to more regular shows… know you can do it!!!!!

  8. Trevor Parsons
    April 17, 2008

    David’s number one comment on viewing the video of the London alleycat is that the riders aren’t wearing crash helmets. Even people who advocate helmet-wearing must admit that it is the last and least effective of the many precautions cyclists can take to reduce risk. Please, a little more realism about the power of the ‘magic hat’.

  9. April 30, 2008


    Thanks for your comment, but I won’t ever admit that helmets are “the last and least effective of the many precautions cyclists can take to reduce risk.” The fact is that I am indeed an advocate of wearing helmets, primarily because they have saved my brain, my life, and the lives and brains of people I know.

    Example: our friend Tim Jackson and his accident at the velodrome last night. He couldn’t have foreseen the other cyclist’s actions, but by wearing a helmet he just might have saved his own life.

    If you’ve listened to The Spokesmen or The FredCast for any length of time, you know that I am not so naive as to suggest that there aren’t a myriad of risks associated with cycling, and a number of ways in which cyclists can mitigate those risks.

    In the case of the alley cat cyclists, however, they are the ones creating the risks, while simultaneously ignoring the obvious dangers associated by those risks. Their reckless riding will eventually lead to accidents. Those accidents will certainly lead to heads hitting pavement. Helmets mitigate the risks associated with that risky behavior.

    Want to mitigate risks? How about taking the simple act of following the laws?!! What I saw on that video of the alley cat race in London showed cyclists running red lights, failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians, riding on the wrong side of the street, and more.

    The video displayed the arrogance of some people (who just happen to ride bikes) who feel that the entire road belongs to them, no matter what the consequences to themselves or others. These are not people with whom I would choose to associate, nor would I ever defend their actions.

    Perhaps Darwinism is at work after all. The longer they fail to wear helmets, the shorter their lives will be. Eventually, they will have a serious accident and they will hit their heads. If they choose not to wear the “magic hat . . .”


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