Archive for the cycling Category

Global branding for cheap

Posted in bikes, cycling, media, movies with tags , , , , , on 23/05/2013 by entendered

I normally save my shilling for projects and stuff for different online spaces, but this one is pretty important to me. If you’ve got a few spare bucks to help get a film completed about women’s cycling and equality in sport, then I encourage you to support this effort. I’d embed the trailer but that’s not an available option right now, so instead please go visit the site and watch it there.

 

Fuck you Phil Liggett

Posted in cycling with tags , , , on 22/01/2013 by entendered

So you may not recognise the name Phil Liggett, but if you’ve ever watched any of the SBS coverage of the Tour de France then you’d almost certainly recognise his voice. Phil is one half of the English language commentary team that has been used by many of the largest cycling races in providing coverage of their events.

To wit, Liggett (and Paul Sherwen, his erstwhile offsider) have been commentating the Tour Down Under for many years along with the Tour de France, and most of the big one day Classics races.

They also both have very close relationships with Lance Armstrong. Sherwen used to be the PR guy for Motorola, one of Armstrong’s earliest teams. Rumour has it that Armstrong and Liggett are both investors in Sherwen’s Ugandan mine. And so on.

To call Liggett and Sherwen Armstrong fan-boys is to exercise a ridiculous kind of understatement. I’ve always tried to make allowances for the guys in terms of their commentary based on the fact that their remit was to explain cycling to an English speaking (primarily American) audience that wasn’t used to cycling and didn’t really understand it.

That means that they over-simplify their commentary significantly and are often not at all helpful if you have any kind of understanding of the sport. But I tried to take them with a grain of salt. Of course, as part of this style, they also talk incessantly about the riders from their target audiences’ home nations. Meaning Americans, Brits and Australians get the most mention.

Annoying if you know the sport, but understandable.

And none of that can explain the sheer amount of talking that they do about Armstrong. It’s a whole other level of bullshit. And it only gets worse and worse and worse.

Last year Liggett accused the USADA of being on some kind of witch-hunt against Armstrong. Words Armstrong himself used. Liggett gave an interview in which he impugned the reputation of the anti-doping agency while venerating Armstrong’s achievements.

And just now, in the lead up to the Tour Down Under, he’s gone and said that Armstrong’s accusers were motivated by jealousy, seeming to completely miss the point that when 16 different witnesses all tell the same story and the guy comes out and admits he was doping, it doesn’t really matter what motivated the accusers.

What matters is what motivated Armstrong, how he got away with it for so long, and taking the necessary steps to minimise the risk of that happening again.

In short, fuck you Phil Liggett, you’re a whore and clearly incapable of doing your job. I can’t believe that you’re still employed as a commentator and I look forward to contributing to any campaign that sees you “retired” as soon as possible.

Fuck you Lance Armstrong

Posted in cycling, dickish behaviour, dicks with tags , , , , , , on 15/01/2013 by entendered

Just go away and shut the fuck up already. You’ve done more than enough damage. Just fuck off.

Fuck I’m tired of your fucking bullshit. Just go.

We know you don’t mean what you say. We know you’re just a fucking liar who kept lying right up until the entire house of cards was pulled down, torn up and set on fire.

Here we are now, almost six months after all the evidence was laid on the table and just now you’re deciding that maybe a “confession of sorts” will lead to a lifting of the ban on triathlons so you can get back to doing what you care about most, making shit-tonnes of money at the expense of naive suckers.

Fuck you.

Just go the fuck away already.

Bit of a fucking brutal start to the day

Posted in bikes, commuting, cycling with tags , , , on 01/11/2012 by entendered

I arrived at work this morning to find that I’d missed three text messages from my boss (and good mate) who was stuck on the other side of the city with a flat tyre on his bike and without his toolkit to replace the tube etc.

On the one hand, everyone who’s ever commuted by bike will tell you that you’re asking for a puncture if you ride without levers and a tube. On the other hand, I still feel like a bit of a bastard for not hearing the texts come through and helping him out.

Fucking Thursdays.

An open letter to Pat McQuaid

Posted in bikes, cycling with tags , , on 23/03/2012 by entendered

Dear Mr McQuaid,

I am writing to you today to express my concerns with the way the UCI is perceived within the broader community of cycling fans worldwide.

Firstly though, I would like to offer my sincere support to the UCI’s goals of growing the sport internationally and to providing long-term stability in the sport. I believe that these are worthy goals, and that while they may be difficult to achieve, they are shared between teams, owners/managers/sponsors, race organisers, and fans.

My question to you though is this; If these goals enjoy such widespread support, why is it that the broader cycling community seems to feel that the UCI is not providing adequate or (more importantly) relevant leadership in these areas? Just a brief review of these interested parties highlights a great many things to be concerned about:

  • Riders often feel that their safety is often not treated with the paramount concern that it should be.
  • Teams struggle to maintain financial stability and remain in the sport over the long-term.
  • Sponsors are not readily attracted to the sport, and it appears that stability (along with doping scandals) are big issues in this regard.
  • Race organisers struggle to keep their races alive.
  • Fans struggle to see any practical action from the UCI on these issues and more.

I understand that these are complex issues and that there are a lot of competing viewpoints and interests involved. I’m not suggesting that any of the above are necessarily easy to fix. “Fixing” might not even be possible. Rather, an ongoing process of change may be the only realistic way forward for the sport. I’m also aware that the UCI is not a wealthy organisation, and that this places some constraints on what it is able to do.

All of that said, the UCI has a very serious public relations problem. It’s difficult to state how large this problem is and I urge you in the strongest possible terms to think carefully about the impact this is having on the sport of cycling as a whole.

I am not going to pretend that I could do the UCI’s job better. Instead I would like to provide you with some insight into the way that many fans view UCI and the sport of cycling.

  1. Cycling already IS a global sport. So while adding races in China and the Middle East is cool and we’ll watch them, we already watch from all over the world and get up or stay up across ridiculous time-zone differences to do so. Growing the audience of cycling is well worth doing, but we’d prefer to do it without losing teams and races that we already have.
  2. We care much more about women’s racing than we do the angle of saddles. Too often the UCI seems to focus its attention on minor details whilst ignoring issues that actually affect the ability of the sport to grow and survive.
  3. We actually care about women’s racing quite a bit and many of us would like to see a lot more advocacy from the UCI for broadcasting women’s races and laying out a roadmap to introducing a minimum wage for women into the sport. Achieving this will take time and nobody wants to hurt the sport or the teams in the process, but that doesn’t mean that real leadership and direction shouldn’t be provided now.
  4. The sport in general has a big problem with sustainability in terms of teams and races. We need to see proactive and collaborative efforts to ensure there is stability and growth in the sport across the board. The dependence of the sport on sponsorship and broadcast rights is a 20th Century way of viewing sports revenue. Collectively we need to move beyond this (note I am not suggesting we discard these) mindset and open up new revenue streams. The UCI may not be in a position to act on this directly, but it can certainly facilitate conversation and strategy, acting as a top-level advocate.

In addition to all of this, maybe the most important thing that I can tell you is that the internet and social media like Twitter have already changed the sport dramatically for everyone involved in it… except the UCI.

Here’s the really sad thing for the UCI – we’re talking about cycling every day. We’re coming up with interesting and great ideas on how to grow our sport and how to make it safer and better for all involved. Fans talk directly to riders and riders answer them, straight away. We talk to team managers and race organisers. All of us are in this together, except for the UCI. If you pay attention to nothing else I say, please remember this: This conversation is already happening and it is happening without you!

You need to change this as quickly as possible.

Cycling is OUR sport. We own it, not you, not the teams, not the race organisers. We, the fans, do. We fuel it, providing the eyeballs for sponsors, teams and riders, the dollars in revenue come from our pockets. Engage with us, we come from all parts of the globe and all walks of life. We’re the ones on the front lines of the sport, defending it against accusations of systemic doping and advocating for it to our friends, colleagues and families. We’re the ones who spend millions of dollars each year travelling to races and supporting the sport in any way that we can. For us, this isn’t a job – it’s a passion. It’s something that we believe in deeply and care very much about.

We’re worth listening to. We’d love to have the UCI in the conversation.

Let me leave you with a link to a clip from comedian Chris Rock about his problems with being a fan of rap music. His argument is eerily similar to what it’s like being a cycling fan today and trying to defend/promote our sport. This is what it’s like to be on the real front lines of cycling, and we’re still here. Still advocating, still defending, still riding and still loving cycling and investing in its future.

It’s fun, exciting and difficult out here on the frontline. You should join us out here, we’re in the break and we’re looking good for the win.

Best regards…

For those who are about to bike, we fucking salute you!

Posted in bikes, cycling, dickish behaviour, dicks with tags , , , on 09/03/2012 by entendered

This is for my mate TNA and anyone who has ever ridden a bike, or even better, been inconvenienced by some arrogant, self-entitled, holier-than-thou, fucking do-gooder tool on a bike…

Your fucking indicators aren’t an optional extra

Posted in commuting, cycling with tags , , , , on 06/03/2012 by entendered

Ok, I’m going to try to not melt down into yet another rant about how shit Sydney drivers are. I do think that it’s worth stating for the record though that your indicators are there as a legal requirement and you are legally required to use them.

Fucking got it? Good.

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