Monday’s mail bag: Alison, cougars, drivers and accepting spouses

Alison will prevailEditors;I was appalled, at first, when I saw the  article detailing thepossibility of Alison perhaps losing the chance to go to Athens becauseof a mess up at USA cycling (see "Dunlapa long shot for Athens?") and weirder even still rules from theUCI. Then I thought about it a bit and realized Alison willbe at the Olympics. I'm sure of that, her strength of character and incredibledetermination will see her through, and if that slips a bit raw talentwill take some of the load. I am still upset the the people who shouldbe watching out for the athletes from a

Alison will prevail
Editors;
I was appalled, at first, when I saw the  article detailing thepossibility of Alison perhaps losing the chance to go to Athens becauseof a mess up at USA cycling (see “Dunlapa long shot for Athens?“) and weirder even still rules from theUCI.
 
Then I thought about it a bit and realized Alison willbe at the Olympics. I’m sure of that, her strength of character and incredibledetermination will see her through, and if that slips a bit raw talentwill take some of the load. I am still upset the the people who shouldbe watching out for the athletes from a bureaucratic level messed up. Itwill make is so much harder for our athletes to compete and do well, becausethey messed up. I’m also amazed the the Olympic committee or U.C.I. seemsbent on not having the very best athletes, just a large number ofcountries represented? What in the world is that all about?Go get em Alison! Actually, I truly do feel sorry for the girls shelines up against. they are in for a rough time this year.
Tim Watkins
Monument, ColoradoAdversity makes us all one
Editors;
On Sunday morning I rode Orange County’s long standing “Como Street” ride and noticed something very different, there were one heck of a lot of mountain bikers riding on the road. Maybe it’s because the Como Street ride goes right by one of the entrances to Whiting Ranch Regional Park,the place where one mountain biker was recently killed and another attacked (see “Cougar victim was former CTS employee“).The interesting part was the way the mountain bikers and roadies responded to each other, instead of the usual “aloofness” towards each other, there were many more waves and “hellos” exchanged. Too bad it takes a tragedy like this to bring people together.Next time your out on the trail or the road or the bike path remember to greet your fellows cyclists and make the world a friendlier place.
Charles O. Jones
Orange County, California
Editors;
Regarding Friday’s Eurofile (see “Zülle, Jeker in road rage tussle“), unbelievably cyclists around the world have to deal with stories like the Spanish driver’s road rage against Alex Zülle and others on a daily to weekly basis. Still! When someone gets behind the wheel of a car, they are being granted a privilege that comes with a mortal responsibility.What does it mean when a driver doesn’t care if his two-ton steel machinecrushes another human being, pushes them to the ground, lacerates theirbody, causes
injury paralysis or death? What does it mean to the Otxoa family,or to the countless “civilian” families who suffer the losses of theirloved ones because of the impatience and recklessness of drivers who areacting with a true disregard to their fellow citizens? Where are the equalizedpenalties? When will our legislating bodies stop reacting against the victimsand strip privilege from hazardous drivers?Just a thought: In our sport of cycling, a racer who is caughtcheating can face up to a lifetime ban for a “crime” that to us fans ismorally unappetizing, but not truly threatening. Where are the lifetimedriving bans on drivers who kill us?That’s my rant. Thanks for listening.
Matt Neyens
Seattle, WashingtonAn accepting spouse
Hello;
I found the responses to ‘Spouse Acceptance Factor,” to be full oflame stereotypes and assumptions.Contrary to what most of the respondents think, not all men are beleagueredhusbands who must get beg his wife to make a purchase nor are women allthe true controllers of purse strings as well as miserly and contemptuousof their husband’s having a hobby or sport.In reality, if Erik’s wife is truly as unreceptive to his desire fora new bike as she seems, their trouble runs deeper than his need for carbonfiber. A healthy relationship involves communication and both partnersneed to be open to hearing about the needs of the other and then workingtogether to meet those needs.My husband just got back into racing after a successful juniors career.While I have my own interests, I also love to attend races with him andhave learned enough about the sport to understand the need for currentequipment (not to be confused with the constant desire for something newand better). I can’t imagine being so selfish as to not want himto have what he needs to make the most of the hard training he does yearround. He supports me in the same manner. That aside, it’s just funto look at frames and components.So Erik, I say start involving your wife in the sport. Erik’s wife,take the time to get to learn about your husband’s passion and don’t useexcuses such as “I’m a
mother, I’m tired” to get involved in his life. Talk to eachother more. You’ll both get more out of it than a road bike.
Lisa O’Keefe
Chicago, Illinois
Tried-and-true versus pricey whizbang
To Erik;
Sorry Erik, but if your Cannondale fits you and works well, a new ‘carbonfiber racing machine’ will not make you any faster. It will be fun andwhizbang for sure and if it fits you well, will make riding more whizbangas well, but it will not open up the skies, make clouds and wind go awayor help you to solve the problems of becoming a cat 2.Oh sure, some bike shops will tell you it will answer all thequestions you have about your six-year-old Cannondale but after a monthor so, you will realize it really doesn’t. The only way it would make agenuine difference in your riding and racing is if the cost of the newbike became the equal amount of money in pennies, in your jersey pockets.And then taking them out will make you feel ohhh so liberated.There are four things that make you a better rider and racer, they allstart with a ‘F’ and none of them are ‘frameset’, (bike Fit, Fitness, Fat,Finesse).
Regards,
Peter Chisholm
Republic of Boulder
Colorado