What's Cool In Road Cycling

Readers React to Daily Distractions Demise

Not unexpectedly – I’ve received more than a few emails from readers since we pulled down our Daily Distractions gallery.  What was unexpected though is the range of responses from the YAY’s to the NAY’s and everything in between.  Here’s a sampling from the mailbag…


The gallery has been down for a few weeks now, and even generated interest from Bicycling.com who called me for an interview, which appeared on their website yesterday (you can see it here), written by Berne Broudy. They titled their story: “After Pushback from Vittoria Tires, PezCycling News Ends ‘Beautiful Women’ Gallery”

While chronologically accurate, their headline is totally inaccurate and misleading. Ken Avery of Vittoria Tires was the first person I talked to at Interbike about this, and in fact, I did remove the gallery “after” our scheduled meeting.  However, Ken’s opinion was not the reason the gallery was removed.  And since Vittoria has continued to provide product for review and use, neither was their lack of involvement, or support of PEZ.

I initiated conversations with many people at the show, (before, after, and outside of) – from trusted and respected colleagues to people I’d just met, women & men, ages ranging from their 30’s into their 60’s.  I asked for opinions, and also I talked at length with a couple of women who’ve been in the industry a long time about how we could better feature women in cycling.

While two of the women I talked with said I should keep the gallery running, they also wanted to see more in depth coverage of women in our industry. I also discovered that some of the people perceived the gallery differently from its original intention.  And in Vittoria Tire’s case – I discovered at least one potential advertiser who wouldn’t work with us as long as the gallery existed.

While the Bicycling.com interview focuses on the business reasons for removing it, a more important consideration for me was how in this age of changing social values, I simply don’t want PEZ thought of as degrading to anybody.  Ms. Broudy and I talked about this point at length, which she thought was the most powerful part of the story, although it was omitted from her published piece.  I guess the editors at Bicycling didn’t think the truth was as important here as a sensational headline and fluffing up one of their advertisers.

Further to our portrayal of women in cycling, I hope you saw the two stories we posted this week:
1. Women’s Cycling: Starting With A Clean Slate
2. Our interview with pro rider Rachel Neylan

I also asked for your opinions as Readers of this website, so let’s see what some of you had to say:

Hi Richard,

I am a long time Pez fan but rarely a commenter. I have enjoyed the Daily Distractions and showed some to my wife who likes to hear what Pez is doing next.  After some thought, I must applaud your decision to suspend the D.D. feature. It was out of sync with the changing (for the better) times. There are simply too many bad examples occurring daily of how we should NOT treat some of our best friends and ardent supporters, WOMEN. I am increasingly aware that good men who value women for all the wonderful things they are,must speak up. So congratulations on your position.

As you say there is a lot of great news about women in cycling these days. They are a feisty, competitive bunch whether on the road,the trail or the track. Our Canadian women are particularly exciting with lots of young talent making their way to the pro continental and pro tour ranks. Then there is Clara Hughes in a class by herself with the courage to open her struggles for all of us to read and learn.  The list goes on and I am looking forward to reading more of you entertaining and perceptive interviews.

Currently, I am following the Canadian girls on the Rally team. What a great bunch of high performers!  Sara Poidevin surprised them all at the Tour of Colorado. She could go a long way and like so many of the young women she balances cycling with going to university. What a great example for our kids!

Ironically, I only realized a couple of years ago that Sara is my second cousin. I have never met her but in 2018 I hope to rectify that at the women’s race in the Gatineau. So I hope you too get a chance to meet her as well as Allison Beveridge and the other talents that are developing in Canada and North America.

So once again, Richard congratulations on your position as you keep PEZ relevant to all of us. Looking forward to those interviews and news of both the men and the women.

Tim Rainey

Thank you – For listening and making a choice by removing Daily Distractions. As someone in the advertising field, I know how threatening we can be with regards media placement, and I’m sorry you had to experience this. I hope that the advertisers concerned are also looking at their own environments and not using this era as yet another stick to beat publishers up with. I like your site and look forward to reading about those women out there who are all so awesome.
Thanks again.
Lynette W.

Sorry to hear this fun ” Distraction” is no longer on your site. Amazing the times we live in where for the first time I saw a bathroom with not the usual 2  figures, male and female on the door but 3 figures. Male,Female, other?  I am 61 and could go on and on about the political correctness world we live in and am sorry I will no longer be reading Pez Cycling News. I am glad to have lived in a time when I believe the world was a better place and am sorry for generations ahead. Thanks for the many great articles, info, race coverage, etc.


I don’t disagree with the issue of individual harassment claims, but I’m afraid this current atmosphere strikes me, as I recall, the Red allegations and blacklist of the McCarthy era.  That said, I can understand the need to maintain advertising and click counts to support your site..  even tho it smells of other era’s cave to the popular BS.  It’s best to keeping site going… anyway always interesting points on my favorite activity.

I understand your reasons for taking down the daily distractions; I’m a rabid fan of women’s cycling!  However, I wonder if it is coincidental that the distractions were taken down the same year Hugh Hefner died.
Tom, in Utah


I loved the writing style and coverage that Pez Cycling News provided… so it was a sad decision for me to stop reading because I couldn’t get past the “Daily Distractions” feature of the blog.

But I have to give Richard Pestes a big tip of the Negroni for checking his publication, reaching out to people for feedback, and putting the feature to rest, officially, all on his own.

The PezCycling News is back on my shortcut bar for the first time in nine years. And I’m stoked.

– Anna S via facebook


Once again political correctness? Really?

I’m just assuming there will actually be no podium girls in the future. Or cheerleaders in football, or dance teams in basketball?

Obviously I’m in the USA.
Certainly sponsors with $$$ carry a big stick. It’s always about the money – ALWAYS.
Oh well, that’s one more site I don’t need to waste time on.


Clay D.


While I have to say I always went to the DD page first, I can understand and accept where you’re going.  I must say though that my more favorite photos were of the female racers, both on their bikes and everyday life events.  Perhaps you could do stories about the racer’s off days, what they like to do, how/if they ride for fun, etc, both men and women.
John S.


It’s a sad sad day when men can’t appreciate respectful pictures of women.


I salute your daily distractions move sir. I’ve always enjoyed it, but also think there is a shift were we’re respecting and supporting women’s racing more. In that respect it does make sense to stop focusing on their appearance. I think you could still feature a lot of the same images, but in a more general race coverage sort of way alongside the bare chested male supporter.
Erland W.

From the beginning I thought that the Daily Distractions was an enigma. An anachronism.In a time of greater and greater constraints, for good reason, on expressions of sexism, overt unwanted expressions, the Daily Distraction was on borrowed time. I even thought that Pez Cycling News was publishing without regard to what was probably perceived as sexist material. And in a way I admired you for it. Freedom of expression and all.I’d guess you know very well the page hits you got day to day to the DD page, and I’d guess that the DD page was one of the most, if not the number one, popular page, day to day.Being that we are now in the Weinstein era, I wasn’t surprised to see DD disappear. I’m glad to hear you’ll be publishing stories on women in cycling going forward, instead of showing gratuitous photos of cheesecake.
– Pete B.


Sorry to hear this.  Once again the old 95 / 5 rule takes control.  95% of the noise in the world is made by 5% of the people.  The liberal minority wins again!  Hooray!  What’s next…..taking down monuments of the father of our county?  Stay tuned… Democracy is being threatened.

It was a nice run while it lasted!

Warm regards,

I applaud your decision to remove the Daily Distractions.  I haven’t looked for it recently, but thought I’d check it today and couldn’t find it.  Didn’t realize its been gone for a couple of weeks even though I’ve read Pez almost daily during that timeframe.

Especially with all of the sexual harassment stuff going on, I think it is time that we stop objectifying women.  Especially with the fact that I have a 13 year old daughter who is quite beautiful, but way more impressive from within.

Keep up the good work –

Larry T.

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