Motorhead

Motherfucker.

I honestly don’t like swearing in an Article, much less using such a word to open an article, but seriously. Motherfucker. A motor discovered in an U23 rider’s bike at the Cyclocross World Championships has to be the lowest of the low that anyone can go. I’m so pissed off, I’m rhyming. Which itself makes me madder than a hatter.

I have a pretty lenient stance on doping, which I hold to fairly wide criticism. I believe that the path towards doping is full of shadows and gradual steps towards the darkness. It is easy for me to imagine a young, ambitious rider who has sacrificed education and other vocations for the chance to become a Pro Cyclist, who is taken under the wing of an older, more experienced rider and to whom is explained the ways of the sport. If I was 18 and following that path, I cannot say with certainty what choice I would make, given the limited perspective one would have under those circumstances. While I hate doping and wish for clean sport, I hold limited judgement over those who have strayed down that path.

But we ride bicycles for the pleasure of propelling ourselves along the road under our own power. We push the pedals and we go faster, it is as simple as that; the motor resides in our heads and in our hearts. Performance enhancing drugs will, to various degrees, fine-tune and modify that motor, but there remains alive a notion that even a doped rider is holding true to this basic notion.

Competition is about finding out who is the superior athlete, it is as simple as that. We train, we fine-tune our equipment, we learn the strategy and tactics required to rise to the top. Doping certainly obscures that concept, but that a rider would abandon this fundamental principle of our sport by utilizing a motor in their bike seems to me an order of magnitude removed. It is gratuitous to the extent that there is no possible justification apart from an unabashed desire to win over all else.

This is bike racing, not motorcycle racing. For fucks sake.

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179 Replies to “Motorhead”

  1. I was riding home one day and after a sharp little ramp a guy on an ebike came past me. After a little bit, I came back past him and left him behind. Later on I got caught up at a couple of red lights and then continued until I got to this long drag of a climb. About 200m in this guy on the ebike comes past me and yells weirdly “Electricity!”. This was unusual as I hadn’t said anything to him or given him any looks. I replied, “well, you are on a motorbike…”. He sputtered “not really, uh its not like that” before I replied “You have a bike, with a motor. It’s a motorbike” at which point he rode up the hill pulling away from me. I caught him on the descent on the other side and he stayed very quiet. Didn’t see him after then. But, what a strange encounter…

  2. In regards to the Fabs video, I know better than to assume a guy, any guy (or girl) is clean. But, we also have to remember a few things about the human eye and it’s interaction with the brain when we watch that video, as will as the loss of visual perspective (depth) caused by a non-3D camera.

    When we’re watching Fabs ‘rocket’ up the Kapelmuir w/o changing cadence or standing, were we even paying attention to what Tommekke was doing? That red arrow certainly drew your attention to only one part of the screen. Did Boonen hemorrhage cadence? Did we see enough of the video in real speed to properly judge the closure rate or acceleration/negative acceleration?

    And what about the foreshortening that occurs in non-3D cameras? Think back to the last sprint finish you watched. Head on, guys are separated at the stripe by whiskers. Then you see the side or overhead view and there’s enough space for a camera moto. So again, it’s hard to judge the closure rate from one rider to another with the preferred broadcast angle. And that could cause you to mistake the difference in speed between two riders. Especially in short video clips.

    So to me, the Fabs argument in interesting, but it is not nearly enough to be compelling.

  3. @Buck Rogers

    @Teocalli

    It is industry driving this change, nothing else.

    Call me a conspiracist but this is nothing but trying to pry more money out of the suckers in the world.

    There is no need for this in the pro peloton on road bikes. None.

    (and I’m an authority on this because I claim to be one on the internet)

    I fucking believe you.

  4. @DavyMuur

    @Buck Rogers

    @DavyMuur

    Call me old fashioned, but I think even electronic shifting should be banned (from competition). It kind of defeats the purpose of the bicycle as a mechanical extension of the human body.

    Yup, I am a firm luddite on this one. It is just like disc brakes for me. If it isn’t broken, why try to fix it (except to dupe the public into believing that they HAVE to HAVE this new unbelievable technology at any cost and that it was a miracle that we somehow survived without it).

    Now I do love my clipless pedals and my brake lever shifters, but I do not ever see myself on electronic shifting or disc brakes on the road bike.

    Luddites of the world unite!

    Not a fan of the disc either – mainly for aesthetic reasons – but at least they’re not electronic!

    It’ll be pretty slick when they are because then we’ll have ABS! Cheers

  5. @wilburrox

    @DavyMuur

    @Buck Rogers

    @DavyMuur

    Call me old fashioned, but I think even electronic shifting should be banned (from competition). It kind of defeats the purpose of the bicycle as a mechanical extension of the human body.

    Yup, I am a firm luddite on this one. It is just like disc brakes for me. If it isn’t broken, why try to fix it (except to dupe the public into believing that they HAVE to HAVE this new unbelievable technology at any cost and that it was a miracle that we somehow survived without it).

    Now I do love my clipless pedals and my brake lever shifters, but I do not ever see myself on electronic shifting or disc brakes on the road bike.

    Luddites of the world unite!

    Not a fan of the disc either – mainly for aesthetic reasons – but at least they’re not electronic!

    It’ll be pretty slick when they are because then we’ll have ABS! Cheers

    Sorry, but I’m all in on disc brakes and electronic shifting but then I’d like a brand new Tesla roadster too. I still use down tube shifters and would be fine with clips and straps but clipless is affordable. The bottom line is that I do not like the complexity and cost of new bikes. If I could afford a mechanic and afford the prices I’d be all in. I have ridden the new stuff (except disc brakes) and it is fantastic. I will wait until it is affordable and in the mean time enjoy mixing it up with the kids on the steel and taking my hands off the bars to shift.

  6. @Buck Rogers

    @Ron

    Before we allow this to strangle all the fun out of our favorite sport…here is a Finding from a recent Harper’s Magazine:

    “Sleeping Germans given incorrect definitions of Dutch words are not hindered in their language acquisition.”

    Hmm…

    Now THERE is grant money well spent, eh?

    Hell yes, great dedication of funding. It has me wondering…are Germans just deep sleepers? Really smart? Or are they onto the Dutch and the things they make up and realize they should ignore most of what comes out of their mouths?

    I was hoping our resident Dutch & German lads could chime in.

  7. @kixsand

     

    @Oli

    @wiscot

    The momentum of sliding out while whizzing down a hill will spin a wheel like that, I’ve seen it myself and there weren’t no goddam motors involved either. It looks completely normal at normal speed.

    I would think Ryder would have been travelling at 60-65 kph there. When he slides out the rear tire instantly loses contact with the pavement and continues to spin at the same rate of speed. It makes sense to me that when it again touches the pavement that it could overcome the weight of the bike in that situation to be able to move the bike like we see here.

    Now that Cancellara video…fishy as fuck. What the hell?

    Yeah, his acceleration just looks way too easy.

  8. This had me smiling and more.

    http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest-news/dr-hutch-hard-not-laugh-motorised-doping-224900?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social

    I love “checking the durability of the door handle of the team car as it does 40kph up a climb. (“Yes, Mr Vinokourov, it’s really well attached. My compliments to the man who bolts on your door handles.”)”

    The video on waving is quite funny too – we did go there some time back but could not find the related article.

  9. @Teocalli

    Ha!  Great video on waving.  Thanks for that!

    I saw many cyclists yesterday on my ride (fair-weather types as it was a beautiful day here) and it brought me back into the waving etiquette thoughts again.

    I believe it was JiPM (miss that guy around here) who likened his waving to others cyclists as of the Forrest Gump variety and while I try to restrain myself, I more often than not seem to be of the same ilk on this one.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMse7XwZmoA

    Wave on!

  10. Ha!  Trying your step-by-step program on how to embed a vid into the V site, Teocalli!  What do you know??  It actually worked!

    Now do you have any Step-by-step programs on how to climb better?

  11. @Buck Rogers

    @Teocalli

    Ha! Great video on waving. Thanks for that!

    I saw many cyclists yesterday on my ride (fair-weather types as it was a beautiful day here) and it brought me back into the waving etiquette thoughts again.

    I believe it was JiPM (miss that guy around here) who likened his waving to others cyclists as of the Forrest Gump variety and while I try to restrain myself, I more often than not seem to be of the same ilk on this one.

    Ha! Same here, I must confess. If it’s on two* wheels – and self-propelled – I’ll flick a friendly wave in the general direction of, or at least briefly lift a salutatory index finger from the roadside hood towards it. (It helps, I suppose, that the roads here in the West of Denmark – while very pretty – are not thronged by cyclists, at least most of the time…)

    * I may even have waved at a guy on a three-wheeled rec… Oh shit. Excommunication in effect as of now, I assume: I’ll get me coat (and do numerous hill repeats on the way out in penance…)

    And yes: I would also like to see/hear JiPM chime in again.

  12. @Teocalli

    Oh yes, absolutely. While the West Coast of the main land mass, Jutland, is flat as a pancake (with very much of a “Wadden sea” – i.e. salty-marshy – sort of thing going on), the East coast, where I live, boasts a landscape formed by the Ice Ages: nice rollers and some pretty steep climbs (though not overly long). Not unlike the Ardennes, really, if not quite as high. And very well-kept, quiet roads.

    For a flatlander (read: Cloggy) like yours truly, it’s paradise: great cycling in these parts

  13. @Teocalli

    One of the highest hills in the vicinity – about 70 km from where I live – is 170 masl. The Danes sometimes refer to this as a ‘mountain’, which completely cracks up the Norwegians.

  14. @ErikdR

    Can you get by bike from Korsor to Nyborg.  It does not look like a bike friendly bridge.  Is a ferry over to Aarhus a better route by bike?

    Trying to think of somewhere to go for a summer visit and do a bit of cycling as well as sight seeing for the VMW.  Plus I’d like to go to the vikingeskibsmuseet sometime so Copenhagen might be a start point.

  15. @ErikdR

    @Teocalli

    One of the highest hills in the vicinity – about 70 km from where I live – is 170 masl. The Danes sometimes refer to this as a ‘mountain’, which completely cracks up the Norwegians.

    Yeah I looked up Hills in Denmark……

    Møllehøj is the highest natural point[Note 1] in Denmark at 170.86 m (561 ft). It is in the Ejerbjerge hills in Skanderborg municipality, very close to Ejer Bavnehøj. The summit is marked with a millstone, a remnant of Ejer mill which was situated on the hill from 1838 to 1917. The mill had eight sides and had an onion-shaped roof.

    New measurements made in February 2005 showed that Møllehøj was higher than both Yding Skovhøj (172.66 m including a Bronze Age burial mound on its summit, 170.77 m without) in Horsens municipality or Ejer Bavnehøj which had both been thought higher. These two high points’ natural heights are however respectively 9 and 51 cm lower than Møllehøj. It was officially recognised as Denmark’s highest point in 2005.

  16. @Teocalli

    Yep, that sounds pretty accurate. The one I was referring to earlier is the one called Ejer Bavnehøj. It was actually used as a beacon hill at some point, it seems (‘bavn(e)’ is Danish for ‘beacon’ or ‘beacon fire’).

    At one time, fires were lit on top of the thing, apparently, to warn the resident Vikings of approaching foes. On the other hand: who would dare, I wonder?

  17. @Teocalli

    @ErikdR

    Can you get by bike from Korsor to Nyborg. It does not look like a bike friendly bridge. Is a ferry over to Aarhus a better route by bike?

     

    Korsor-Nyborg is strictly for cars – or trains. The ferry to Aarhus sounds like a good option – but you could also drag your bike on board a train in Korsor and get off in Nyborg.

    Aarhus is a great place: University town, so plenty of good pubs and affordable restaurants, etc… While there, you’d be about 90 km north of where I live. You’re more than welcome to drop by, if I happen to be at home around that time. I’d be happy to show you some of the fine bike routes in my neighborhood – plus what is arguably the best beer pub in the country, right here in Kolding…

  18. Angus raced at a round of the National Trophy Series yesterday and whilst they were waiting to be gridded, a chap from the UCI waved his iPad at all of the bikes.

    It may only be the Under 14s but Angus thinks he’s hit the big time now he’s being checked for motors!

    I didn’t think to take a photo of it at the time but here’s one from the race.

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