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explaining bike racing to outsiders?

May 14, 2010
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I'm hoping that remarks about doping can be left out here. I've been racing bikes for a couple of seasons, and a whopping zero of my friends have ever raced a bike before. This leaves me to explain what the heck I'm doing with my time, and why racing a bike is interesting in any way.

What do you tell outsiders about racing bikes that gets their attention?
 
Aug 14, 2009
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I'd like to append this post with another question...how do explain a GT to an outsider?

I've tried to explain why someone like Contador still wins without having to win every stage, why they send riders up the road, etc...all to no avail.

I think I need to speak in analogies.
 
Apr 14, 2010
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ViaPagliano said:
I'd like to append this post with another question...how do explain a GT to an outsider?

I've tried to explain why someone like Contador still wins without having to win every stage, why they send riders up the road, etc...all to no avail.

I think I need to speak in analogies.

I've always liked the quote that its Chess at 50km/h, that doesn't really explain it but helps them understand that its a very tactical sport.
 
Jul 27, 2009
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ViaPagliano said:
I'd like to append this post with another question...how do explain a GT to an outsider?

I've tried to explain why someone like Contador still wins without having to win every stage, why they send riders up the road, etc...all to no avail.

I think I need to speak in analogies.

The first barrier you might be getting is establishing that there is more to it than meets the eye. For instance, if your skeptic is into baseball, you might ask them why the batter just doesn't swing at every pitch. Or, with (American) football, why the quarterback doesn't throw 50-yard passes every play.
 
Jul 16, 2009
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PCutter said:
I've always liked the quote that its Chess at 50km/h, that doesn't really explain it but helps them understand that its a very tactical sport.

I love this quote and have used it before also ... but added ..

"Its like chess on wheels at 50km/h combined with ice hockey":eek:
 
Aug 4, 2009
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While at the finish of a Big Tour stage a young lad asked me do all the competitors live on .Spagettie.

I pointed him it the direction of the yelloe jersey holder walking up the street with a big bag of Fish "N" Chips.
then try explaining you need to ride 8 hours a week to your Missus.
 
May 28, 2010
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The only way I can explain it where most of my buddies can understand it is to compare it to the NASCAR Sprint Cup series:eek: At least they can understand the concept of winning a competition over time. Regarding tactics they don't get it but I don't get NASCAR either
 
Oct 29, 2009
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I try to avoid the NASCAR comparison, but it's inevitable when I explain why you ride so close. They always respond with, "like in NASCAR!" :rolleyes:

Honestly, I don't explain it unless they ask a specific question because you have to do it or watch a lot of it to really understand bike racing.
 
Feb 1, 2010
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I find the hardest parts to explain are that not all 180 riders are trying to win, in fact only a small handful are actually there to win the race. People find that hard to grasp, so I of course explain the teams and how the teams work.

And then having to explain that riders aren't employees of their sponsor teams can become a bit tiresome.

"Wait, so you're saying the Saxo Bank guys AREN'T bankers??"
 
Aug 1, 2009
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Alex III said:
"Wait, so you're saying the Saxo Bank guys AREN'T bankers??"

Sure they are, and didn't you know that in the off season Basso, Nibali and Kreuziger all work in a gasstation just outside of Milan?
 
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Anonymous

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HL2037 said:
Sure they are, and didn't you know that in the off season Basso, Nibali and Kreuziger all work in a gasstation just outside of Milan?

.... they have an "off-season"?
 
Aug 1, 2009
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Yes, what exactly is a Radioshack?

(Jeg tror det er en slags Fona eller Merlin - men er ikke sikker...)

LA should definitely have his own radioshow. I wonder what type of music he is into.
 
Who says it has to be a music-related show? Could just be him talking... some... anti-cancer thingamagob...

(Nå... på den måde...)

---

Another thing they do on Danish television is making a "tour" about how the teams can benefit from the various sponsors. For example; Garmin won't get lost! Saxo Bank and Rabobank will have somewhere to put their money! Liquigas can get gas on their cars! Cervélo has easy access to bikes! (perhaps on of the few teams who actually has a practical benefit from their main sponsor...) And Astana well... they just get somewhere to live... (not that I think any of the riders actually live in Astana...)
 
Feb 25, 2010
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RedheadDane said:
Who says it has to be a music-related show? Could just be him talking... some... anti-cancer thingamagob...

(Nå... på den måde...)

---

Another thing they do on Danish television is making a "tour" about how the teams can benefit from the various sponsors. For example; Garmin won't get lost! Saxo Bank and Rabobank will have somewhere to put their money! Liquigas can get gas on their cars! Cervélo has easy access to bikes! (perhaps on of the few teams who actually has a practical benefit from their main sponsor...) And Astana well... they just get somewhere to live... (not that I think any of the riders actually live in Astana...)

who the heck would want to live in Astana when they can live in western Europe? Vino also lives in Monaco and not in Astana :p ? that's just stupid :p
 
Mar 10, 2009
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nebbiolo said:
I've been racing bikes for a couple of seasons, and a whopping zero of my friends have ever raced a bike before. This leaves me to explain what the heck I'm doing with my time, and why racing a bike is interesting in any way.

What do you tell outsiders about racing bikes that gets their attention?

Tell them the first on over the finish line wins, while another 49 or so racers is also trying to do the same thing. Its sounds to easy they might want to try it as well :D the moment you complicate it you lose another possible racer/cyclist, they'll learn it if they race with you.
 
Feb 25, 2010
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RedheadDane said:
Now don't be mean to Eastern Europeans... (but considering there was some talk during the fantastic stage 7 of the Giro that the dirt roads was rather, Kazakh-like, it's no wonder riders prefer to live somewhere else!)

I don't mean to be mean -that sounds quite redundant don't you think :p- but it's just that living in western europe might be more fun:)
 
Oooh... thanks... I sorta thought it was a radio show...

Hmm... just a thought; some people here have used NASCAR to explain bike racing... so, does that mean that if anyone should explain NASCAR to me (and they new I'm a bike-fan) they could just make the opposite comparison?
 
Aug 14, 2009
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RedheadDane said:
Oooh... thanks... I sorta thought it was a radio show...

Hmm... just a thought; some people here have used NASCAR to explain bike racing... so, does that mean that if anyone should explain NASCAR to me (and they new I'm a bike-fan) they could just make the opposite comparison?

No problem! :)

As for the vice-versa explanation, i'd say why not? I'm not too familiar, but once someone brought it up I sort of found a new found respect for it all of a sudden.
 
Sep 19, 2009
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I think the dumbest question I've heard was regarding stage racing:
so they race, stop and sleep and then continue racing the next day?

Answer: Yes
 

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