What's Cool In Road Cycling

MailBag: It Sucks

We should be relaxing on a sunny ride, satisfied that July was one of the best Tours ever, but not one cycling fan I know is in high spirits. Our feelings run from disbelief, to sympathy, to disappointment and even complete rejection… Of course I speak of the current dope scandal, and it’s been the big topic in MailBag…

It Sucks
Pez Sez: I think the whole thing sucks. The whole thing being drugs in cycling, now emphasized by Operation Puerto and Floyd’s situation. In my opinion this is much worse than the Festina Affair in ’98, and I’d not be surprised to see cycling in general taking a few years to recover.

It sucks that such a great Tour is now in question.

It sucks that Floyd’s awesome ride on stage 17 is in question.

It sucks that I don’t know what to believe.

It sucks that many in the press have turned this into something it’s not.

It sucks that my local news hour finally covers cycling and this is their story.

It sucks that the cycling public can only take so much trash before they lose interest.

It sucks that this could be enough to turn off a lot of current and potential cycling sponsors.

It sucks that clean riders get tarred with the same brush as the others.

As I watch the story develop, my stomach sinks further each day as another piece of evidence appears to surface against Floyd. I want to believe in Floyd – oh yes I do, but for now I’m left to believe or disbelieve whatever I see in the media. What I’ve seen so far does not look good for Floyd’s defense, and I’m praying he (and Ullrich and Basso and the rest) can clear this up – for him, for fans, for cycling.

Here’s what a few of you have to say:

Sorry cycling industry
This morning I deleted all my online cycling bookmarks and put all my bike magazines into the recycling bin. Seeing “recycling” on the side of the blue box seemed fitting. I give up. I really don’t care anymore.

I don’t wish to read any more about the endless theories and explanations regarding medical and scientific testing.

I don’t want to have to mix race results with the drama of statements from lawyers and ongoing investigations?

I just don’t have time to be involved anymore. It has become too much.
I spent some time and looked around the various websites for the last time. I will be out of the cycling loop when conversations are started on group rides or at parties, but I will cope. Call me a quitter and anything else you want. I’ll be outside.
– Karl Bridge
New Westminster, BC Canada

1. I do love your website and read it every day.

2. But where ARE you guys on the Landis story?!? Leading with the story about the Belgian Nats a month ago??? Come ON. You’re dropping the ball!

3. Another case of the “Euro” way of looking at justice: Guilty until proven innocent. ALL of the quotes from the Euros (on cyclingnews.com, natch) are about how Landis “deceived them”, etc. What a bunch of grandstanding jive.

4. The hysteria of Le Dopage in cycling is ruining the sport, not fixing it. Ullrich? Basso? Landis? These guys were already rich and revered. Doping doesn’t make sense. These guys are innocent, I’m sure of it.

5. Salem. Witch. Trials. Ring a bell, anyone?

6. What is the veracity of these tests on a scientific basis?

7. I learned to surf this spring. Cycling? Different story. I’ll still ride my bike, but the brainiacs at UCI, WADA, USA Cycling et al can pat themselves on the back in congratulation of exhausting my (and I’m sure many, many like me) interest in a sport that once was my complete passion. Maybe I’ll teach Floyd to surf when he gets back to San Diego.

Way to go, cycling. You’re FIRED. As for you, Pez, you’re on notice. Get serious and do some journalism fer chrissakes.
– Terry Burden

PEZ Sez: First – thanks for checking PEZ early last Friday – before we posted our story on Floyd , and before news of ‘synthetic’ testosterone in his system appeared. Secondly where are we on Floyd…? I’ll only speak for myself, but how’s innocent until PROVEN guilty sound? Right now the reported evidence doesn’t look good, but there are too many unanswered questions to make a decision today.

Just wanted to tell you how much I loved your ranking of Dick (head) Pound. It’s about time more journalists quit taking these sleazy politicians at face value and started grinding them as the general press does our elected officials.

By the way, has anyone ever investigated how the national bodies and UCI officials are actually elected? My experience of world sports and games is that it is all hush-hush to everyone but the insiders. I expect that national representatives are bought off with concessions to the country and personal perks to support the bigwigs, but who’s to know? Enquiring minds, etc.
– Richard Heisler

I just wanted to say, thank god for Jered Gruber, who wrote a wonderful piece on Landis (Speaks to the Press). Finally someone with some sense, unlike Klцden or Pound or those other assholes so quick to judge without understanding the complexity of this mess. I don’t believe much in the media anymore. They are as doped about sensationalist stories as some cyclists are after dope sensations. Thanks!!!
– Bruce

Adding Salt To The Wound
OK I know everyone has been talking about Landis’ goal I winning the Tour, but I say actions speak louder than words. Landis’ real goal is to be remembered for having the ugliest glasses in the 2006 Tour. I have never seen so many gawd awful glasses since the highlights of the 80s Tours. I am asking for a little investigative reporting here. Were these glasses designed by a dying friend who is trying to start a business? If not, then he should throw them away. I am thinking a bug in the eye on a decent would be better than wearing those frames. Any (all) of those frames.
– Frank Daugherty

I enjoyed Randall Butler’s article about shooting on the Champs d’Elysees. I had a few questions that I hope you could pass on to him:
1) What kind of equipment do you use? Lens lengths? Tripod?
2) I assume you are shooting digital — what kinds of settings do you use to capture the riders as they go by — i.e., high shutter speed?
Thanks! Great shots always.
Alan G. Straus

Randall Sez:
I was using Canon Mark II bodies. This is an 8 megapixel digital camera. It shoots 8 frames per second, has a very good metering and autofocus system and can use two memory cards.

The camera will allow you to select various file sizes depending on the intended end use of the image. On the Champs I shot ‘Raw’ files which are the largest files and are great for large prints – but take longer to download and process.

For lenses I was using a Canon 24-70L F2.8 and a Canon 70-200L F2.8. For the images shot on the Champs I used both lenses. Because of the lense length:shutter speed, a tripod was not required. Some of the shooters use a monopod if they are using a
300mm or longer lense but personally I find this a bit impractical.

I also equip the cameras with Canon Speedlights and an external battery pack so that the flash recycle time is reduced.

The speed of the racing doesn’t demand a particularly high shutter speed and personally I like to show some motion in the wheels.

The image of Floyd rounding the turn beneath the arc de Triomphe we used in the article was aperture F13 with a shutter speed of 1/250 at ISO 200. The focal length was 24mm.

The image of Thor we used in the article was aperture F5.6 with a shutter speed of 1/800 at 200 ISO. The focal length was 200mm.

Hej! (Danish for Wudsup!) Thanks for the great preview on this year’s Post Danmark Rundt (PEZ Preview: Post Danmark Rundt 2006). I lived in Copenhagen for 5 years, and every August I’d be down there on Fredricksberg Alle drinking beer and getting crazy with 20,000 or more of my closest Danish friends, watching what has always been a spirited finale! The Tour of Denmark is a fun race and the Danes are great bicycling fans. So, it’s with pleasure that you’ve given it such a big write-up, and I’m also happy to read that it is getting closer to ProTour status. It deserve all the recognition that the ProTour, and Pezcyclingnews.com, can give it! Vi ses paa vejen (See you on the road)!
– Dan Cline

I wanted to share with you how much I love PezCyclingNews. Everyday is a new treat and I sometimes read the articles twice and get just as much pleasure the second time. (I’m like one of those guys who reads Playboy for the articles – but I happen to carefully inspect the Daily Distractions to see if the contributors are using proper photographic poses and backgrounds. In fact I always check that first thing). While I think you guys did a great job covering the Giro, Ed Hood,Gordon Cameron and especially James Hewitt have been fantastic n the TdF coverage. I nearly bonked myself while reading about the suffering in the Alps. I need to stretch my calves and quads after each article (I’m very empathetic or my wife would say, “just pathetic!”). By the way,I have tried to improve my own performance by incorporating the advice of Josh and Stephen. Thank you sooooooooooooo much,

– Aah… we love you too man!

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