British Cycling Hates Cycling

Today I am debating what tires I should run if I go out for a ride, I am still definitely not in favor of running Schwalbe Spicer tires anywhere, ever. I am also left to ponder about core strength and should I turn on the heating in my ‘writing’ room/study, perhaps I should don two smoking jackets rather than just one in here.

Writing a cycling blog in a cold room.
The joys of writing in a cold room.

I thought if I am going to get fitter this year perhaps I should treat my body like a temple and not perhaps a church roof fund donation. As such I hit Google and searched for core exercises that are both whimsical and suit cyclists. I found exercises and more importantly I found that sit-ups are bad for you and as such I am trying to work out just how to sue my high school PE teacher for the pains I now feel in my back. I am glad now that I do not have to blame myself for this pain or even blame my age, instead, I can blame someone else and as we all know that makes any problem so much easier to deal with.

It is much like cycling, everything wrong with cycling I can trace back to be being British Cycling’s fault, which is pretty easy as it usually is. “Want to get more people into cycling?” ” Yes.” “Well we have a great idea we put a levy on all entry fees, we can then use that money to grow the sport.” “Is that not what our membership fee is for?” “Sort of but this extra money will grow cycling.” “What were you planning?” “Well, we thought on a £14 entry fee we could charge a £5 levy.” “So a 33% price increase, will this not put people off?” “No, because we will be making more money we will get more people to come and race.” “But people currently can not afford it, so would charging more not be counter-productive.” “No, because we will use the money to get marketing advice on how they are wrong.” “What happens if it turns out that you are wrong, will you be monitoring attendance to make sure there is no negative effect?” “No, because there will be no negative effect.” “Ok, could you use this money to make sure that the coaches you employ for the female squads do not run away on errands for privately run male squads.” “They reimbursed us for that?” “Did they reimburse the month he spent motor pacing said guys?” … “Do you think he should maybe have been running training camps for the women instead of just swanning about with the lads?” ….

I know the levy was introduced a couple of years but it is now slowly filtering through all the disciplines of cycling. I think for an organization that wants to increase participation, that pricing people out of the game is not the best response for the organization or any of the businesses that deal with that sport. I do not feel that people should compete for free, that would be lovely and I guess Street Velodrome manages to do that. I just feel if you pay a membership, a race license, and an entry fee it is then a bit much to then come and say ‘You know we really need to take more money off you as we can not properly allocate our resources efficiently enough’.

Now everyone is up in arms about the mystery package that Bradley Wiggins received, we will probably never find out what was in that package but why are not digging more into Simon Cope and why he was running around for Sky and not taking enough care of his women’s squad? What sort of message does this send to our young aspiring female athletes? “Sorry, I am paid to look after you but the guys on a privately backed team are way more important than you so I better jet off and help them out. Don’t worry though one of those guys will set me up with a nice easy job in his retirement plans.”

Never mind the fact that he was employed by British Cycling, a body funded partly by UK citizens tax money, your membership fees and from the poor saps who bought a lottery ticket. What does this attitude say about how we feel about female sport. We had a team of successful and motivated women and we thought “Yeah but the men look better racing and they are our priority.” I am sure everyone who works in a shop in Manchester may want to go swanning off with another business to Spain for a month rather than deal with Manchester and reality. The problem here is no business would ever stand for that kind of behavior, so why is it OK for a man who worked under the now UCI chief to show this blatant disregard for his job and not be fired on his return? Does Brian Cookson really feel this is the message we should send out to our female athletes?

Brian Cookson of the UCI showing another wonderful professional cycling cock up
This award looks better than a pair of gold wheels.

Cookson with the announcement of the UCI 2017 Para-track World Championships 7 weeks before they happen, seems to be gunning for that highly coveted award of The Shane Sutton PR Masterclass of the Year. A man who if we add in his trying to bake riders to death in desert climes, is trying hard to make Pat McQuaid look good and when all is said and done that is not an easy task, certainly something worthy of a CV. Dave Brailsford is probably working on a marginal gain so he can steal the PR trophy as we speak. A man who believes using Stages will help riders to make marginal gains and can sell them as that is truly a PR master, I suppose. His next one seems to be not talking to Chris Froome, it always great when team managers and star riders do not get on, it is marriage made in heaven. Look at how close Oleg Tinkov was with Contador, always out at the pub drinking Champagne together.

Cycling a sport so professional it hates women and disabilities (except asthma, asthmatics are great at cycling) and can not have a note of why it needed to make someone take an airplane trip carrying a drug that could have been bought from a pharmacy beside the rider who needed it’s hotel and why it was so vital. “You know it was only Fluimucil and it is not performance enhancing, it only helps with recovery.” “Why does every cycle coaching book tell me that recovery aids performance and without recovery, we will not be able to perform. Could you not argue that in itself is then a PED by default?” …

I think I need to lay off these imaginary conversations and just go ride a bike. Oh look gold wheels

Gold Wheels Ruin Cycling
How to ruin cycling.

Do we really need gold wheels? Are manufacturers so stuck for ideas on how to sell products that they need to use the most tacky idea they have come across? The UCI are worried about discs, they should be worried about gold wheels. Gold wheels will destroy whatever credibility cycling has left. I think we  need a new movement #bangoldwheels. Specialized every year you get worse.


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