Monday’s mail bag: TV, rainbows and angelheaded hipsters

The Mail Bag is a regular feature on VeloNews.com, appearing each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If you have a comment, an opinion or observation regarding anything you have seen in cycling, in VeloNews magazine or on VeloNews.com, write to WebLetters@InsideInc.com. Please include your full name and home town. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.All that and SNOOKER, too!Dear Editors:With OLNTV cycling coverage on the classics deteriorated to the point that it is just not even worth the wear-and-tear on my TiVo's hard-drive letalone for me to watch, I have half-started looking into

The Mail Bag is a regular feature on VeloNews.com, appearing each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If you have a comment, an opinion or observation regarding anything you have seen in cycling, in VeloNews magazine or on VeloNews.com, write to WebLetters@InsideInc.com. Please include your full name and home town. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.


All that and SNOOKER, too!
Dear Editors:
With OLNTV cycling coverage on the classics deteriorated to the point that it is just not even worth the wear-and-tear on my TiVo’s hard-drive letalone for me to watch, I have half-started looking into what would it taketo get EuroSport TV into my American home.I would have killed to get some of the coverage they were providingfor races like Paris-Roubaix and Amstel Gold, which OLN used to give.Plus, for all you soccer/football fans, you can get Champion’s League match-upstoo!I did, by the way, give a piece of my mind to OLN’s feedback site afterits depressing coverage of Paris-Roubaix. I had woken up at 6:30am eachyear since 2000 to watch that race live until this year’s debacle.
Jay Freyensee
Los Altos, CaliforniaAs appealing as EuroSport would seem to those of us in the U.S.A,Jay, we would like to remind you that while Liège-Bastogne-Liègewas being contested on the roads of Belgium, EuroSport was broadcastinglive from Kiev in the Ukraine, covering the European weightlifting championships.Oooooomph! We actually would have preferred the piece on fly fishing thatOLN was running at the same time. – EditorRepublicans for OLN
People,
I know that there is a large percentage of the cycling population whoare Democrats so in some ways I understand why they feel that OLN shouldbe, for some reason, meeting their needs and programming based on somecharitable impulse (the programming equivalent of giving handouts), howeverthis is not how the business of television works. Please let a 26-year-old,Cat. 2, 50+ race-a-year, cycling-crazy, would-love-to-be-watching-the-Tour-of-Georgia-on-TVRepublican explain:Yes, the size of the viewing population matters. So potentially,becoming vocal and trying to give OLN a sense of the depth of interestin cycling could be good. However, no matter how many people watch,if advertisers do not feel that they are experiencing the returns thatthey want, they will stop placing their ads and the programming will reflectthat.

While the amount of people who watch PBR or (the example that is alwaysused) logrolling may not be as high, these people must be buying.Tools, motor oil, fishing reels, Fords, etc. (And not having seenthe #’s one can only guess at the viewership)

So, until the racing interested cycling community starts purchasingthings other than cycling dork gear that they special order online froma discount retailer in France or they get at the local shop from theirbuddy who works there, BUY the DVD’s of races when they are released byWorld Cycling Productions.

Don’t get me wrong, I have seen some numbers on bicycle sales in theU.S. so it seems as if the market is broad and could potentially be lucrative,however, I would venture to say that unless it is to watch the High Hatof Texas flying, the bike owners who make up probably 95 percent of thosefigures (buying bicycles en-masse as gifts, or when on a “get inshape this year” kick) will not be tuning in to watch Liège-Bastogne-Liègeany time soon.

My advice, buy a Subaru or quit your bitchin’! Better yet, wheneverthere is a bike race going on that you wish was on TV, get off your couch,get on your damn bike and ride. Better yet still, pay an entry fee, line up and race instead of watching somebody else do it.
Paul Mica
Alexandria, VirginiaMario overstated?
VeloNews,
Did anyone notice anything odd about the world champs stripes on Cipo’sjersey this year? Sure, the man did win it in 2002, but with theyear he had last year, you wouldn’t think he would have the stripes soprominently displayed on his jersey and shorts as he does. They look tobe at least twice the size as the ‘sleeve cuffs’ that former winners wear.This is not to belittle his greatness or anything, but for someone whoexemplified the ‘Rainbow Curse’ more than ‘Il Re Leoni’ last year,it just seems odd that he would so prominently display the stripes. Rightnow, they are more visible than either of the two current World Champions,but that is a whole ‘nother matter.
Stephen J. Schilling
Indianapolis, IndianaShocking! It’s shocking, we say. Mario Cipollini overstatingsomething?!?! Who’da thunk it? – EditorLetting Missy be Missy
Editors;
When I read Jason Sumner’s Interview with Missy Giove posted Friday(see “MTBNews and Notes: Missy on being Missy“), I could almost visualizethe onslaught of whiny, bitching letters VeloNews will undoubtedlybe receiving –expressing outrage over everything from Missy’s use of expletivesto the unnecessary glorification of gay marriage. I mean, you guyshave already got it bad every time you post an O’Grady article, so I amreally “feeling your pain” on this one. For this reason, I had towrite you immediately in an effort to launch a pre-emptive strike againstdetractors of both “The Missile” and VeloNews.

So, allow me to take a second to thank Missy for years of entertainment,race excitement, and unabashed promotion of the sport of mountain biking.In addition, I’d like to thank her for continuing to be a beacon of honestyand candor in a society that is too often full of false pretense and plottingspin doctors. I would like to thank VeloNews for having thecourage to print such an interview instead of giving us the brand of watereddown and filtered “opinion poll style” journalism that most large mediaconglomerate owned publications typically publish
Jason Aric Jones
Director – Bell’s Beer Mountain Bike Team
Dexter, MichiganActually, no Jason, we haven’t received any critical letters andit really doesn’t take all that much “courage” for us to post the interview,but thanks for the kudos, anyway. Now, as for O’Grady, it doesn’ttake courage, just a thick skin… or is that a thick skull? One of thetwo. – Editor
heavenly connection to the starry dynamo
Dear VeloNews,
Quite the cyclist’s poem by Andy Guthrie (See “Headphones and poochesand glares, oh my” in Friday’sMail bag.) Was he inspired by Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl???”A member of the Pace generation,
Eli Aramburo
Sunny San Francisco, CaliforniaEli, we are not too sure what Andy’s inspiration was. We just needto note that we, too, have seen the best riders of our generation destroyedby madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through thecrowded bike paths at dawn looking for an easy workout. – Editor


The Mail Bag is a regular feature on VeloNews.com, appearing each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If you have a comment, an opinion or observation regarding anything you have seen in cycling, in VeloNews magazine or on VeloNews.com, write to WebLetters@InsideInc.com. Please include your full name and home town. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.