Gear

Tech Talk: It’s showtime

The recent announcement that Discovery Communications would be sponsoring Lance Armstrong and his mates for the next few seasons got me to wondering…. Do you suppose Armstrong might pop in from time to time as a special guest host on one or another of the TV network’s 14 channels, like Animal Planet or Discovery Español? Can’t you just imagine the wily Texan wrestling with an endangered white rhino and somehow relating his past Tour experiences to getting a friendly mauling from the giant albino beast? Or instead of trying to make a Tour de France winner fit its programming mold, might the

By Andrew Juskaitis, VeloNews technical editor

The recent announcement that Discovery Communications would be sponsoring Lance Armstrong and his mates for the next few seasons got me to wondering….

Do you suppose Armstrong might pop in from time to time as a special guest host on one or another of the TV network’s 14 channels, like Animal Planet or Discovery Español? Can’t you just imagine the wily Texan wrestling with an endangered white rhino and somehow relating his past Tour experiences to getting a friendly mauling from the giant albino beast?

Or instead of trying to make a Tour de France winner fit its programming mold, might the network decide to remake a few shows in his image — say, starting with a new reality show called “Monster Bicycle?”

With the success the Discovery Channel has had with “Monster Garage,” it seems natural to create a cycling-related spin-off complete with a manic lead engineer calling the technical shots throughout each episode (Tom Ritchey, Gary Fisher, Gary Klein, have your people call my people). The list of potential projects is endless, but here are a few that might get the green light:

“Flying Bike.” Designed to achieve near-Earth orbit without burning tax dollars for fuel. “Lawn Mower Bike.” An idea stolen straight from Monster Garage, but seriously, can you ever get enough grass cutting in your life? “Ocean-Going Bike.” The name speaks for itself, and I’m not talking about crossing your local pond here, I’m thinking Atlantic or Pacific. “Survivor: An American World Cup Winner:” Somebody, anybody, please build a bike that will allow a citizen of the United States to win one World Cup cross-country race (no motorcycles allowed).

Shows like these could be a hit with redneck Harley riders, nerdy engineers and anal cyclists alike. Lance might even drop in to the occasional project to provide a little personal team direction once in a while.

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In other news, I just got off the phone with Specialized’s Kevin Franks, who dropped a small hint regarding what Mario Cipollini might be wearing at this year’s much-anticipated Tour prologue.

Franks, who told me that Cipo’ is a huge fan of everything Eighties, forwarded me the source of inspiration for his new time-trial skinsuit. And while you might think it hard to top Cipo’s “Roman Emperor” regalia, or his “Anatomy Lesson” skinsuit of two years ago, if anything can do it, this can. Check it out here — and no, this is not a joke.

Got your own ideas for a cycling-related reality show or Cipo’ skinsuit? Send ’em to webletters@insideinc.com. Please include your FULL NAME, CITY and STATE/NATION.