Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cycling Shorts : August 17, 2010

1. Prince McQuaid keeps room open for donations : According to reports, the immaculate cycling chief McQuaid has said that in the future, the UCI "may deal differently" with a donation like Armstrong's. But he insisted that it depends heavily on donations from all riders and teams to support its annual $6.4 million anti-doping budget. Wow! This must happen only in cycling. Please audit this organization as soon as possible. The sooner the better.

2. The subject of Armstrong surely divides opinions. The latest Facebook groups that have come up to gather support for each of their causes are "Petition To Drop The Federal Investigation of Lance Armstrong" and  "Petition To Investigate Lance Armstrong For Fraud". The bottom-line logic of the pages are something like this.  One has it that investigating Lance Armstrong is a complete and utter waste of taxpayer money and that he should be let "free" because of the things he has done for the cancer initiative. The other writes that using taxpayer money to investigate fraud on such a massive scale is a non-issue, and interestingly, is also in support of the research on cancer so that definitive links can be established between drug abuse and cancer. Both sound equally reasonable.

3. Jeff Novitzky fanpage : Meanwhile, what appears to be a psuedo Jeff Novitzky is fast becoming a celebrity on Facebook as well. He must be the modern day manifestation of all our childhood fantasies about steadfast, no-tables-unturned, mission oriented crime busting. 

4. Is the Cobra trying his venom already? This is the second time Riccardo Ricco has fooled us. Here, it was Quickstep. A few days later, it is now a Dutch team. I don't trust him. I think he's still lying and will surely ride for the Reptile Rescue Committee of Italy instead. Hey, that's just me.

5. Are modern bikes faster? This was the interesting question posed by an article published in the summer edition of the Bicycle Quarterly where an analysis of the impact of lightweight bicycles was done. According to those who read it, the authors of the article looked at bicycle improvements on racing speeds over the last 100 years. They then compared the trend-line of speed increases in the TdF to medium distance running and arrived at the conclusion that bicycle improvements such as lightweight tubing and derailleurs really didn't have that much of an impact. They also make a few comments on the impact of doping on the two sports. I haven't read it but it must be some food for thought. Besides, the editors of the magazine seem to be avid cyclists with PhD's. If someone is nice enough to share this article with me, we can discuss it.

6. Side Mounted Pedals : Recently, I was shown the side mounted pedals by inventor Steve Lubanski. While his pedals have been around for quite some time, it is only recently that I noticed it. It seems to me that you can get your seatpost lower with the pedals, thus lowering your center of gravity. It also appears to me that your crank length will closely match your true crank length since there is no vector addition due to the stack height offset. But will 2-3 cm of pedal stack height reduction really make that much of a big difference? Physiologically, validation could be best done with a bio-mechanical as well as power output and oxygen cost study. I might write more about this later. The subject has interested me.

What do you think? Got anything to share? Write in!

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