11.17.2009

Mémoires du Cyclisme

It's mid-November, stick season, and winter is fast approaching. The domestic cycling season is winding down, I've been reading accounts and looking at media from the domestic races and have watched a few international events online.

I'm old enough that I can remember the pre-Internet era, when the only coverage of international cycling consisted of little snippets of the Tour de France on ABC Wide World of Sports or CBS (the "John Tesh" network). Race coverage in print publications was available months after the events described were completed -- it wasn't unusual to read about spring classics raced in sleet and cold rain in the soft warm days of early summer.

Now all that is changed. Races are covered extensively online and digital media - still images and video -- are available almost instantaneously. Racers have even started attaching small cameras to their bikes and providing a participant's eye view.

The effect of all this communication, however, is somewhat jarring. It is not the race or the sport that is important -- it's the act of recording and publishing online. And I know that I am quite guilty of this myself -- cycling coverage is the most popular content on this site, by far.

But lately I've been feeling increasingly all shared out and spending less time on Facebook, Twitter, and keeping this site going. I'm trying to read more books -- kind of a lost art -- and working on developing some alternative ways to make some money on the side.

I've also resolved to rebuild my road bike -- it hasn't been touched in two years -- next spring and start riding regularly on the road again. At this stage of my life I can't see myself racing on the road... but perhaps pinning on a race number in the local fall cyclocross training series would be an attainable goal. Not that I was ever even remotely successful as a cyclocross racer...

The image is of Marc Gullicson in the mid-90s. I remember watching him getting tag teamed by the McCormack brothers (racing for the Saturn Cycling Team -- look at how that attempt at brand-building turned out) at the cyclocross race at UMass-Amherst.

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