Letters about Trek, LeMond, Armstrong and more

The Mailbag is a regular department on VeloNews.com. Write to webletters@insideinc.com. Please include your full name, hometown and state or nation. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. Writers are encouraged to limit their submissions to one letter per month. The letters published should not be viewed as reflecting the opinions, policies or positions of VeloNews.com, VeloNews magazine or our parent company.

The Mailbag is a regular department on VeloNews.com. Write to webletters@insideinc.com. Please include your full name, hometown and state or nation. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. Writers are encouraged to limit their submissions to one letter per month. The letters published should not be viewed as reflecting the opinions, policies or positions of VeloNews.com, VeloNews magazine or our parent company.


Pro LeMond
Editor,

re: Trek and LeMond parting ways.

Why should Greg be penalized for speaking out against the boneheads in the sport for doing things that have brought bike racing to its knees? How many years will it take before the riders “get-it” about artificial stimulation? The “in-crowdness” of everyone was doing it should have long since disappeared.

For years Greg kept his silence, probably hoping the riders and coaches would wake up. But now you have way too many infractions to let this go unnoticed. So what if a three-time Tour champion voices his disappointment at the state things are in. Unlike many others, who let it slide, he has probably begun to feel tainted (unfairly) by being associated with the sport of bike racing. When few cheat, it casts a pall over everyone who races. It is almost like what happened to Catholic priests around here. Everyone looks at you with suspicion when you announce that you are a bike racer.

When you have a champion like Greg LeMond, who wants to see bike racing done honestly and an honest man cannot have a voice than we will all suffer and the sport will continue its descent into ridicule and un-marketability. If I were Trek I would back him as the example of the family values that they seem to advocate. Not shun him for using a champion’s voice that we all should be listening to.

For Trek to take this step, as if it will help things, is a great mistake. We need Greg to stay associated with the sport. Trek needs to wake up and hear the alarm bells going off in the sport rather than hit the snooze button. They can’t run away from the dawn of truth.
David Pelletier,
Salem, Massachusetts

Another
Editor,

It seems that Trek has chosen to take a side. I looked at the presentation on Trek’s website and skimmed the two complaints (Lemond’s and Trek’s). In the immortal words of SpongeBob
SquarePants, “Well, good luck with that.”

Cycling has been very good to Greg Lemond and Lance Armstrong, but their lives after competitive cycling are very different. I see Greg promote cycling, while Lance promotes Lance. In his heyday Lance Armstrong captured the hearts of the casual cycling fan. Cycling
received the coverage in the States it so richly deserved. When Lance retired, he seemed to thumb his nose at cycling. This was in spite of his business and personal relationships to Discovery and its riders. I don’t see the same indifference with Greg.

I wish LeMond didn’t come off so curmudgeonly at times, because I believe he deeply loves cycling. If Trek sees their future in Armstrong, maybe they should have talked to his former teammates or Sheryl Crow. Nike’s website used to feature page after page of cycling
gear. Check it out today and compare it to the Livestrong running gear page.

In the meantime those Felts and Cervelos are looking pretty sweet.
Larry Buttrey,
Long Beach, California

Treks for sale, inquire below
Editor,

I’m ticked after reading that Trek dumped the LeMond bike line. I guess they value bike sales over integrity. I will be selling my kid’s Treks and buying them Giant bicycles. At least Giant stuck with High Road in an effort to clean up the sport after the T-Mobile fiasco. I’m really disappointed in them. All LeMond did was speak his mind. It’s obvious LeMond cares more about professional cycling than the pathetic Trek bicycle company.
Jeff Kemble,
West Lafayette, Indiana

The culture of drugs is not new
Editor,

I’m sad to see the relationship between Trek and Greg LeMond ending in such a way, but I can’t say I blame Trek one bit. I was 13 when I saw Greg win the 1989 Tour, jumping up and down with my older brother in our living room, and Greg and that moment are the reason I grew to love cycling.

But in the past decade, LeMond just seems to have gone off the deep end of bitterness and resentment. The culture of drugs in cycling was probably little changed from Greg’s era to Lance’s, so for LeMond to be so bitter is hypocritical, damaging to the sport, and just plain sour grapes.

I wish LeMond could just move forward happy with his own accomplishments, and lay off the snide remarks which have unfortunately come to define him. So many great cyclists have gone on to become great ambassadors of the sport, without any bitterness towards those who later break their records (Indurain, Merckx, Kelly, etc.).

Seven wins does not diminish Greg’s three. Sure, that three probably should have been five, and maybe six, and perhaps he is still bitter over that, but LeMond will forever own the most memorable moment in Tour history. He is also the only American 2-time World Road champion. Why can’t he focus on that?

I want to remember LeMond for what he did great; the image of him winning the 1989 World’s is one of the greatest images in cycling, ever. But he seemingly does all he can to stop my generation from doing so. I wish LeMond all the best in his future business ventures. I just wish it didn’t have to end this way.
Adam Switzer,
Richmond, Virginia

Liked the Redlands coverage
Editor,

I am writing to tell you how impressed I was to read the coverage of the Redlands Bicycle Classic written by Kathie Reid.

I am part of the Aaron’s pro womens team but was unable to attend due to sickness. I would anxiously await the brief report that would follow shortly after the races had ended and then felt like I had been in the race after reading the full report. I was also impressed with the equal coverage given to the women compared to the men.

A job well done on behalf of VeloNews and Kathie Reid.
Felicia Gomez,
Fresno, California

Factories are just factories
Editor,

All the factory tours in the Buyers Guide and on the web site bring to mind a suggestion for your readers — don’t go visit a factory yourself — read about it in VeloNews. Otherwise you’ll likely ruin the mythology we’ve all cultivated.

When my company moved over five years ago to Morgan Hill, about 1/2 mile from Specialized, I was curious to see what the place looked like, so one day I walked over. I had these visions of a lobby that was more like a museum, with bicycle paraphernalia filling the room.

Turns out these bicycle companies look and feel like any other business from the inside. The lobby was the same nondescript style as every other company in Silicon Valley. The receptionist, clearly not a cyclist, didn’t have a clue about local rides. In retrospect it made perfect sense. After all, they actually don’t sell bicycles there. It really is just a business, and the last thing they need is people off the street wandering in. But it was still quite funny. Another mythology bites the dust.
Steve Rempel,
Los Altos, California

Re: Victoria’s timing and Wiggins’ haircut
Editor,

Well done team GB! what a fantastic result: nine gold medals and a world record. For once this has made the sports pages in our national press.

However I hope Bradley Wiggins can now find a decent hairdresser.

The womens Keirin was lost by Victoria Pendleton, she did go way too early in my opinion.
Gary Bird,
Farnham, Surrey, United Kingdom

Re: LT training
Editor,

As I read Rick Crawford’s article on training, I had to double
check the date of the article because I felt as if I were back in the 90’s with his references to Zone 5, the crippling effects of training over LT and going ‘anaerobic’.

While Crawford’s achievements as a coach cannot be diminished, his perpetuation of archaic dogma regarding lactate make me wonder if we hit an impasse with coaching science
because much of what was written is outdated hearsay. For example, most of what was believed regarding lactic acid, including its role in fatigue and muscle pain, are now being refuted. Moreover, the idea that an hour long event is predominantly aerobic is misleading, because any activity last more than 90 seconds is aerobic!

The fact is that there is no evidence that either a huge ‘base’ or training above LT — the concept of a lactate threshold is itself debatable — is bad for you. On the contrary, several recent papers have suggested that interval training can yield similar physiological adaptations as extensive endurance training. In my experience, cyclists (along with many endurance athletes) are mislead into believing that LT and is a magical place where superior things happen and that you must have a huge base before you do intensity, which are both nonsense.

Additionally, spending long periods of time on endurance causes huge deficits in power and long base miles may not be a realistic for most riders with real jobs and lives.

Sometimes I wonder if some coaches should spend more time staying up to date on emerging science and less time perpetuating myths. As Mike McCarthy used to say, “You can’t train too hard, only too hard too often.”
Chris Harnish,
Cape Cod, Massachusetts

A letter from Iraq
Editor,

I am writing to you from Iraq. I get The Prologue (VeloNews’ weekly newsletter) via e-mail, it’s great to see what I am missing stateside, but brings to me a sense of normalcy in my world across the ocean and desert.

The online articles help keep me motivated to train in an unmotivating and stressful environment. Without riding, I would go insane.

I am located near the city of Tikrit, at the old Iraqi Olympic training area. We bombed the heck out of it in the first Gulf war, Saddam never rebuilt the training facilities.

With my current job here, there is some time to train, play the guitar and run, but the two pools have not been repaired, therefore, I will make a swim bench. I am training on a LeMond spinning bike, and will spend many sweaty hours in the gym being bored to tears wishing I were riding up Flagstaff or on the bus stop ride. We have paved roads here on the base, unfortunately, the px sells very cheap 99$ mountain bikes. Crank arms fall off … they are okay for short commutes, not for logging miles of riding.

I would welcome anything that could support my training, and would be grateful for it. My son is 7, and loves to ride and run, he talks about going to Ironman. Noah is looking forward to the day that we can run and ride down the country roads and go back to Colorado.
SSG Andrijan Smaic,
Operations NCO
443 Civil Affairs BN
COB Speicher, Iraq
APO-AE 09393