What's Cool In Road Cycling

PEZ MailBag: Digging Deep

It’s been too darn long since we opened up the ol’ PEZ MailBag. So on a sloppy Monday, I’m digging deep to offer up a selection of the finest in reader-written comments from the past few months… these are good!

Dear Readers: Let it be known that although we do try to respond to most of the emails we get, we’re now getting more than we can keep up with on some days. So if we don’t reply, or reply right away… don’t think we don’t appreciate you thinking of us and taking time to drop a line, because we do!

Happy Father’s Day!

I’m a day late with my Father’s Day greeting, but that’s because:
a) I was too busy enjoying the time with my daughter Alessa & Mrs. Pez, and
b) this is the first year I’ve really felt like a dad.
As a lot of you will know, even though baby and mom bonded from day 1, it took a few months before I found my own connection with my daughter. I’ve discovered the wonders of fatherhood as she learned my name (Daddeeee!) and we’ve started sharing little experiences together that add up to that indescribable love you can only feel for your child. And what better way to toast the day than with a very primo and rare tequila (my ‘other’ summer drink after negronis) – The truly amazing Mrs. Pez surprised me with a bottle of Herencia Historico Anejo – 100% blue agave all the way. For a self-appointed tequila snob like myself, this is one of the best I’ve tasted – super soft nose with lots of caramel, and sipping that’s a smooth, warming encounter that should best be enjoyed with your favorite girl. I hope you all enjoyed the day with the people who really matter.

ToolBox: Sprinting Success
Josh – I had read your article regarding positioning for sprints and criterium racing last week on PEZCycling News (See: ToolBox: Sprinting Strategy).

Saturday I had the chance to put it to practice and had some very nice results. I found myself easily surfing the surges to the front, though never being the front. Moving up was less taxing and staying there
became like breathing, I knew exactly what to do and when. For the first time, I felt like I actually controlled the race (as opposed to being controlled).

Thank you for your posting on PEZ, I look forward to future articles.

James Plummer, Chico Corsa Cat 4

Josh Sez: “It’s great to know readers actually take these race strategy articles and apply them to their racing – if I didn’t believe this stuff worked, I wouldn’t write it.”

Tootin Our Horn One More Time
– Congratulations on your mention in Men’s Journal. It’s always great to be a part of something for so long (I’ve been reading your site for years) and to see you finally get the credit you deserve. I hope this increases eyes on the site, which will, of course, increase revenue in advertising. Great job to everyone involved! Keep up the great work regardless of being legitimized by the BIG press.
– Aaron L. Bull – President/Founder, Bullaka Productions, Inc.

PEZ Sez: Thanks Aaron – and also to all of you who sent along your messages. Needless to say, I’ll be framing that issue of Men’s Journal, but I need to buy a fresh copy no that I’ve shown it around to so many people … We’re all pretty thrilled about that shout out, and if anything feel a little more pressure to keep on doing the stuff we do. See you all on PEZ for le Tour!

Likes The LeMond
Hey, great job on the bike review! Fantastic! (See: LeMond Triomphe Review here). I liked the pics showing current pics of Greg as well. Keep up the good work guys.
-Dave Gordon

I have just read your Lemond ToC piece and really enjoyed it. When I met him at Interbike last year, it was a huge thrill for me and one simple question sparked off a 10 minute reply with all the enthusiasm you mention. I could not believe he is so approachable and friendly and willing to talk – and talk. It truly was one of the best moments in my cycling life.
All the best – Neil

PEZ Sez: I rode that bike first in April 06, and saw that LeMond was doing some pretty cool and sensible things with tube shapes to tune the ride. This year I rode the new and lighter Tete de Course and was convinced they’ve got a winner here. Now if I can just get one for a ‘extended’ test…

PEZ On The Stelvio
Richard – It was nice to meet you at the end of the Nonstop Ciclismo trip. As Joe and I left the group to head for Bormio you handed us a couple of Pez caps and said we had to take a picture atop the Stelvio or Mortirolo. I’m a man of my word and have included a couple pictures to show we were doing our part to spread to the good word of Pez. Keep up the good work. I will be reading.
– Jim Klages

PEZ Sez: It never gets old meeting PEZ-Fans near or far away, but it’s always better when the venue is a top Euro race like the Classics or Giro. I had the pleasure to join Nonstop Ciclismo’s Giro trip for a couple nights near Lago di Garda, and connect with a few more PEZ-Fans like Jim and Joe. As much fun as it is watching our readers stats grow each month, the most rewarding part of this gig is meeting real fans who read the site – so thanks to you I say and if you see us on the road – say hello!

GIRO Body Double?
Pez – I think we have a doppelganger; Tinkoff rider Pavel Brutt and rock demigod David St. Hubbins. Thanks for the great Giro coverage.
– Mike

PEZ Sez: Could it be? One of our fave rock-meisters of all time is also a pro tour cyclist?

Ok, the Beer Bike is clearly the single greatest new cycling product I have seen so far this season. Forget the Crumptons, Parlee, Sevens, etc., you absolutely need to do a bike test on this one. Since it looks like you will need more than one participant (especially with a full keg and buxom bar maid), I volunteer for engine room & tasting duty. I would even happily do it wearing the Pez “court jester” leg warmers.
– Bill Fournell

PEZ Sez: We first published a pic of this amazing contraption a few months back. But when I saw it chugging along a street in Maastricht at this year’s Amstel Gold, I almost missed the pic as I was dumbfounded when confronted by its reality – and this time it was pedal-powered by attractive Dutch women, all drinking beer! That is one sweet ride.

Doping, Of Course
A cyclist can cheat the wind. Wind will always be there. It is part of cycling and we expect it through body position, design, drafting, etc.

A cyclist can cheat gravity. Lightweight materials, weight-to-power ratio, leverage of gearing, etc. Again, we expect it.

A cyclist can cheat physics. Strong but light materials, frame geometry, stiffness-to-weight ratios, etc. Once again, expected.

A cyclist can cheat genetics. Training, diet, weight. Yep, expected. They even use illegal doping products (although not expected).

A cyclist cannot cheat the fans. The wind will be there without the fans, So will gravity, physics and genetics. Professional cycling cannot exist without the fans. These are the people who watch countless hours of TV. They walk up the mountains for a 10 second view of their heroes. They yell, they read the papers, they buy the products advertised.

Professional cycling seems to have assumed the fans will always be there. Cycling fans have a very important tool at their disposal. They can choose. They can choose not to watch and especially not to buy. While many cyclists and commentators repeat “we can now move forward” they should remember that the fans will decide this, not them. Sponsors are pulling out. They get it. If a sponsor produces a fraudulent product, lies about it and then says “yes, it was bad and we lied about it. Let’s move on now” How many people would still buy the product? Many pro cyclists have cheated and lied about their product. Professional cycling should not assume people will still buy it.

For me, pro cycling is in the 2nd chance zone. If one more champion gets busted, then they have lost me and they will also lose my young kids as fans and consumers. They better buy that product.
– Paul R. Ellsworth

PEZ Sez: These are familiar comments I’ve seen from a lot of fans out there, and it’s up to each of us to choose who and how to support (or not) the sport of cycling. For me, the thought of allowing a few (or even a bunch) of bad apples spoil the sport is more than I’m willing to accept. The cheaters are a bad reflection on themselves but I refuse to let them spoil the beauty that makes cycling the best sport in the world.

There are times in life when you come across something so special that you never want to be without it again; the first time you saw your future spouse, the birth of your child, the first time you had a beer. This is what I experienced when I came across PezCycling three and half years ago. Before Pez I surfed many sites only to drift from one to the other, much like a bloating Hollywood starlet on fad diets. I really never stuck with one cycling site until I came across Pez.

It would be weak to say PezCycling is great and leave it at that so I’ll give you my top three reasons why. 1) as most readers would agree the Daily Distractions are indeed a distraction, a pleasant one a that. These are beautiful women who are not only, well, beautiful, but have an association with the sport I truly adore. To me Daily Distractions are like a ride on a sunny day with a tailwind for 60 Km’s; icing on the cake. 2) Tool Box with Stephen Cheung. A fellow Canadian who pumps out articles that provide information that could only be found in peer reviewed human physiology journals. Thanks Stephen for wading through the clinical studies and providing us with the crux of the articles in several well written paragraphs. I know, I know this is your profession and you’d be doing it anyway but kudos to you for distilling it down for us regular folk. Maybe one day I can be a lab rat for one of your hypothermia studies. 3) Eurotrash Mondays and Thursdays. Outside of subscribing to Cycling.Tv or getting Tour coverage from OLN, us Canadians do not have easy access to up to date cycling news therefore Eurotrash Mondays are my primary source of information.

I read the Story Behind PezCycling and was inspired by the humble beginnings of the site. I say inspired because currently I sit at my current job as an environmental consultant wondering “what’s next?” as the PezCycling creator did five years ago. I daydream about how can I incorporate cycling into my life and make it a profession instead of something I do outside of work. Considering I’m past my prime (oh, who are we kidding, I didn’t even have a prime) my chances of making it in the pro peloton is essentially zero so for me to make cycling a profession my only hope would be to land a job as a bike mechanic or … as a writer for PezCycling! (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

Anyway, happy B-Day and cheers to many more years of PezCycling!
– Mark Ponto, B.Sc.

PEZ Sez – Thanks Mark for the kind a generous letter – but mostly thanks for getting it, us, and PEZCycling. I had an inkling when I started PEZ that other readers might like to see the same sort of content I did – which just was not available anywhere else. In May we recorded our highest number of unique readers ever – 259,313 in one month. Looks like more than a few of you agree – so once again – thanks to everyone for reading – !

Gotta Comment?
If you’ve got a comment or opinion you’d like to share, send us an email and we might just publish you in glorious pixelated black & white! Letters may be edited for grammar, spelling, length or just to make ‘em better.

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