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Readers write on road rights, Landis’ return

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Legally speaking

re: Legally Speaking

It is difficult to explain even to family members just how dangerous traffic can be to cyclists due to motorist’s negligence. Upon detailed description of being hit or near collisions, everyone just shrugs and then states, “ You should be more careful.”

That statement highlights our collective problem as cyclists. We are perceived at fault 100 percent of the time. Why? What is it about society that believes cyclists are outlaws?

Is it impatience: are we a distraction from “normal” traffic, or the fact that not even our own local governments have made these previous two by catering to the automobile industry?

The laws for justice in prosecuting drivers in cycling accidents already exist, as explained numerous times in your articles. What we cyclists are lacking is our perspective, to the drivers mindset and to government planning boards.

We need more space on the road. Our shoulder should not be less than three feet to non-existent. Though we have the right to utilize as much of the right lane as necessary to ensure our safety from road hazards (New Jersey law), most drivers and police do not recognize this right.

Why are roads repainted or created without proper cycling lanes? Why is THAT not a law? We must educate our local governments that these are absolutely necessary for the community. To convince them of this we need to get themout on a bike!

May is the national “cycle to work” month. Why not take this seriously and expand it to National Cycling Awareness Month? Not only encourage cycling, but also educate the drivers how to share the road.

Explain the law and the fact that hitting a cyclists is punishable with manslaughter / assault charges. Just as DUI came to the national forefront in the 80’s, cycling awareness should follow into the next decade. Only when everyone understands our perspective will we have safer
roads for all.
Andreas Meyer,
New York City, New York

Landis’ return

re: Floyd Landis’ new team.

I, for one, will be thrilled to see Landis on the bike again! He’s paid his dues, whether or not he cops to having doped.

I hope the OUCH team will ride the Silver City, New Mexico, Tour of the Gila in 2009. I’ll be
there to watch, for sure.
Nolan Winkler,
Hillsboro, New Mexico

Rock Racing rocks

By signing Pevenage, Michael Ball has showed true guts, and some brilliant foresight. What with all the comebacks, it isn’t hard to imagine Jan racing in Rock colors next year.

He should be fresh from a long break, and just might want to prove himself on (newly) level ground. C’mon, Jan, you can do it! We want to see you again!

We’d love to, in fact!

Also, I have a suggestion to Mr. Ball regarding doping; if any one rider is caught on a serious offense (not cough syrup or asthma), cancel the sponsorship of the team, point blank. That would not only provide a perfect deterrent, but would send a brilliant message to the corporate world.

C’mon, Michael! You can do it!

Demanding a clean, proud sport,
Chris P. Madden,
Toronto, Canada

Can ID

Reading Tom LeCarner’s columns about his visit with Andy Pruitt to diagnose his leg pain brought back some memories. Andy was part of the Boulder bike racing “gang” back in the early ’80s, so when I injured my knee in a skiing fall many years later I knew who to go to.

Just like Tom’s experience, Andy looked at my knee, manipulated it a bit, asked me a few questions, and then told me with complete confidence what was wrong — a minor sprain, luckily. He prescribed an exercise regimen, told me what to avoid, and how long it would be until the knee was better.

Three weeks later I was back in action. The knee had healed exactly as he said it would, in the time he said it would. Andy Pruitt is a great physiologist with a great deal of experience. I have no doubts that he will be able to get Tom back into action and riding pain-free again.
Charles Hansen,
Boulder, Colorado

Politics as usual

Re: The Tour of Battenkill denied UCI calendar spot

Are you kidding me? Sounds like politics as usual at USA Cycling.

If the UCI sees the importance of filling the holes after races drop out, why doesn’t USAC?

USAC is willing to have a month without UCI races, because of late paperwork, instead of working with the promoter to make the approval happen. Either they are very lazy or they are bureaucratic robots, not looking out for the interests of USAC members.

It is especially appalling to hear Andy Lee’s arrogance towards the event when he said, “In terms of the public eye, I don’t think whether the Tour of the Battenkill is on the international calendar makes or breaks cycling in North America.”

We are not trying to “make or break” the calendar, but just improve it.

Lets work together to continue to grow the sport and not make a race promoter’s job harder than it already is.
Jim Escobar,
Stamford, Connecticut

Explain me this

The recent discussion about including cyclocross in the Olympics made me think about the team time trial as a worthy choice.

As the Explainer said, cyclocross is dominated by a small number of countries. It seems participation in the team time trial would be much larger.

For casual sports fans who are not that educated about cycling understanding the team nature of this event is quite easy.

A big question is what is the right number of riders for each team? Yes I know that an existing event would have to get wacked, so my idea is only a pipe dream. But it is fun to dream.
Bob Indig,
Redwood City, California

Humble suggestion

Here is a suggestion:  The inevitable photo of a pro riding in the bunch sans helmet draws a firestorm of complaints from readers every year when training camps roll around. 

I’m all for wearing a helmet; my Giro Atmos saved my bean during a nasty crash this summer so I get it (although it did not survive). 

Also at this time each year we hear how Valverde is going to focus on the Tour,where he hopes to win it and every time like Lucy yanking the football from Charlie Brown his Tour performance does not match the expectations he sets. 

So, why not take care of two things at once, cover the Valverde story about how he’ll focus on the classics and the Tour and include some photos of him not wearing a helmet.  I would think you’d save some space for other readers letters that way.
Chris Wright,
Dover, New Hampshire

Likes the Explainer

Whoooaa! Now, this is top-level journalism. The coverage of what Katyusha means hit the mark at every level!

I worked in Russia on a demilitarization project for a year and a half. Loved it. You could take
any village and drop it in Wisconsin, and if it weren’t for the language, nobody would notice they weren’t American! So much the same.

Still, though, some differences, and songs is one of them, Katyusha is a song that everybody grows up knowing the words to, and the tune — but just one of many songs. You get in a car with a bunch of Russians, and start singing one of these songs, and everybody can (and probably will) join in.
Mark Buell


Stefan Schumacher actions defy explanation. He tested positive for CERA in two separate doping controls at the Tour and now he’s trying to act like the victim?

He says that his conscience is clear because he has no conscience. What a complete ass. I hope the German Federation bans him for life.
Perry Brown,
Salt Lake City, Utah

One-year ban not enough

Yahoo Sports writes about Sella: “CONI’s anti-doping prosecutor said last month that a one-year ban would be more appropriate than the usual two-year suspension because Sella had
confessed and collaborated with the authorities.”

Gee, this one-year ban is really going to discourage others from cheating! And it will really help teams find additional sponsors.

Whoever is responsible for regulating the penalties for cheating in cycling are idiots. Sella’s two-year ban should be four years or more; that might actually prevent others from cheating.

The cheating will not stop until the penalty overwhelms the crime. How much time is left until the remaining sponsors give up on cycling altogether? How many sponsors pulled out in the last three year? (Germany will have no national tour, no ProTour team after Milram pulls out and no Tour de France on TV.)

Bicycle and bicycle accessory manufacturers better do well in the coming years, because they will be the only sponsors available to pro teams.

Why can’t pro cycling create a set of rules that might actually prevent a racer from even thinking about cheating? Long term bans are the only answer!
JD Nelson,
Denver, Colorado

Hooray for white collar crime!

While the news that Saxo-Bank has lost a co-sponsor is not welcome news … I just have to say hallejuha it was due to a corporate cheat rather than a pullout prompted by some cycling dope!

Mike Malone,
Oxford, Ohio

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