Wednesday’s mail bag: Missy, stamps and huntin’ with Hank

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. This reader doesn't miss MissyHey Velo,What's the deal with keeping your readers informed on Missy Giove? (see "MTBNews and Notes: Missy on being Missy") Nobody wants to hear abouther spats with Anne-Caroline Chausson, or her marital

Photo: Roger Retzlaff

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.


This reader doesn’t miss Missy
Hey Velo,
What’s the deal with keeping your readers informed on Missy Giove?

(see “MTBNews and Notes: Missy on being Missy“) Nobody wants to hear abouther spats with Anne-Caroline Chausson, or her marital engagement to anotherwoman. You guys are making me sick!

Missy has turned more woman away from the sport than she hasbrought in. Her bad-ass attitude and foul mouth at the racing circuitsare a bad example for the younger generations, let alone her sponsors.In my opinion, Missy Giove is like Sean Palmer: They were both fun to watchfor about five minutes, then it gets old. If you going to print storiesof retired athletes, I’d rather read about Johnny T’s tires or Ned’s Threads.

Everyone is tired of hearing about Missy. She is one rider this sportwon’t miss.
Chad Hummer
Phoenix, Arizona

Do we get a rate decrease now?
Editor,
I read with interest that U.S. Postal is dropping their sponsorshipin light of criticism in regards to the sponsorship itself and the postalrate increases – three of them over the last four years (see “Postal,cycling parting ways at season’s end“). Am I to assume thatpostal rates will now stay stagnant – or even go down – now thatall that money is free.

I would like to personally thank Lance Armstrong for all of his efforts, his hard work, dedication and sacrifices. He has brought The PostalService to such new heights, that they no longer need excellent exposurefrom a world-wide phenomenon, and I am anxiously awaiting my postal rateto go down back to $.25.
John Olsa
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Saturday morning with Hank
Dear readers and editors,
There is no point arguing about what a “real” outdoor sport is, becauseon this continent our little group of avid cyclists will loose.

I am just as frustrated about OLN’s recent coverage of the classics,particularly Paris-Roubaix, as the rest of your readership. The momentI realized that our band of brothers (and sisters) were on a low prioritywas a weekend morning during the TDF last year. I was meeting friends fora delightful breakfast, and the 10-or-so of us were going to watch theAlp D’Huez stage and then go for a ride.

Assuming the stage would be on at the regular time, we gathered at 8:00 a.m. central only to find “Hunting with Hank” on OLN and Hank was the dog!

Depressed and a belly full of croissants, we quietly got on our bikesand rode. “Oh well, we can watch it tonight.” Halfway through our ridewe ran into a fellow cyclist who was all too happy to inform us of whathe had read on VeloNews.com’s live update. So much for the surprise. It wasthe worst ride of the year.

What is the lesson? OLN will not sacrifice their bread-and-butter programming(Saturday morning hunting and fishing programming, in this case) for whattheir viewership sees as a fringe sport. Did you send a letter to OLN?I did. Can you imagine how many letters they would have received if theTDF was on that Saturday morning instead Buckmasters? I would have to guessat least 20 times as many. “Where my huntin’ show? Who are these (add whateverexpletive you have heard yelled from a truck) in tight shorts doing onthe outdoor channel?”

When I first got OLN, there was a lot more cycling, skiing, climbing,kayaking and other human-powered outdoor sports. Now there are more motorsports, bulls and guns. Why? OLN is making more money, I would have to assume.

I work in the outdoor industry and there are far more people who hunt,fish, ride ATV’s, watch NASCAR, ride horses and listen to country music(casters & blasters, hook & bullet….) than there are hikers,cyclists, kayakers, climbers, skiers and espresso drinkers (sorry if Ileft anyone out).

The only way for OLN to listen is to remember to invite friends over the next time there is a big event or important stage is on. I don’t mean just your cycling buddies, either. They’re already there!

Of course, it may mean you might have to go to watch PBR with them another day. OLN, like other networks respond to one thing only: ratings! Lets just hope the event is covered better than was Paris-Roubaix this year. My friends left more confused than when they arrived.

I think we are very lucky to have OLN (Giro, TDF, Vuelta every morning!),even in its current incarnation. I’m quite confident that OLN could substitutea Bowflex infomercial for the fourth stage of the Giro and get more viewersin some parts of this country. I am very worried that once Lance and BodeMiller have moved on, that all of this great programming we are gettingwill go away. We will be back to the days of Wide World of Sports-typecoverage, with 20 minutes to cover three weeks of racing.

We need more viewers, not more rants.
Erik Schmitter
Elgin, Illinois

And what about us in Puerto Rico?
Hi guys,
I agree with Jay Freyensee (see “Monday’smail bag“) and was about to call my cable provider to see whatit takes to get Eurosport. If somebody finds out how to get Eurosportplease let me know.
Thanks,
Jose Rios
Carolina, Puerto Rico

While Spain and Briton had weightlifting and the U.S. had fly flishing
Dear VeloNews,
I just wish to point out that while EuroSport International may have regaled you with weightlifting, (see editor’s note following Jay Freyensee’s letter in “Monday’s mail bag“) instead of L-B-L, EuroSport in i>France certainly showed us the race live.
S. A. Maris
Cannes, FranceIndeed that is true. Our comments were based entirely on what our colleagues and friends told us. While we were watching fly fishing, they were stuck watching EuroSport in Spain and Great Briton that day. Of course, this just goes to show why we will always regard France as one of the most civilized parts of the planet. – Editor

At least give us a reason to pay those cable fees!
Dear Sir,
Paul Mica states that the reasons behind OLN’s ever decreasing – andnow poorly edited – coverage of professional cycling has its roots in theviewers’ inability to fund the sponsors to a satisfactory level
(see “Republicans for OLN” in “Monday’smail bag“). This is partly true but there is one piece of the economicpie Mr. Mica has omitted. Many of us subscribe to premium cable or satelliteTV packages with the express intent of picking up coverage of “minor” sportssuch as OLN’s cycling programs.

I pay between $5 and $30 a month for channels over and above those thatare provided in “basic cable”, for example, expressly to get coverage ofcycling and soccer. My local cable company is going to find itself one customer fewer come June should OLN’s Giro coverage fail to impress. I plan on opening a second front against my cable company, in order that they can lean on their “content providers” to shape up!
Sincerely,
Ben Inglis
Walnut Creek, California

Mail bag and that @#$%!!! politics
Hi All
I think VeloNews does one heck of a great job covering all aspectsof cycling. Thank you for all the daily coverage, up-dates, human interestpieces, tech-talk, training, legal, food etc. I visit your site every day.However, when you print e-mails from jerks like Mr Mica (Republicans forOLN) I just want to crawl into the computer and choke his mother #!*&%ingGOP neck until it has no life left in it like my 7-speed down-tube rainbike shifter from this past winter.

Since we are bombarded non-stop on radio/TV, the newspapers/websitesetc. with this kind of stuff, is it really necessary to drop this kind ofturd in your otherwise wonderful cycling community punch bowl ???
Sal Garcia
Seattle, Washington U.S.A.

And speaking of marketing…
Dear Velo,
I’m putting my money where the champs are.
Roger Retzlaff
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Shock Jocks in Georgia
Dear Editors,
The Tour de Georgia was obviously a great success, and the presenceof Lance and other international stars drew thousands of people to seetheir first bicycle race, but rest assured that there are stillsome red-necked knuckle-draggers in the Peach State and at least a fewhave microphones.The following appeared in Monday’s Atlanta Journal Constitution:

“RADIO SHOW NIXED
Tour sponsor Dodge pulled the plug on radio station 99X’s [WNNX] planned live broadcast Sunday from the Healthy Georgia Expo.¬† Listeners complained to Tour officials that on Friday morning’s 99X show, the DJs advocated running cyclists off the road.”They understand it was in our mutual best interest if they did not attend”, Dodge spokesman Randy Jones said.”

Sadly, the offending broadcast came a day after one TdG contestant was badly injured after colliding with a car that had wandered onto the time trial course.There was no mention of the incident on the WNNX website, nor did they offer an address to lodge complaints.
Loren Russell
Corvallis, Oregon

Thanks and welcome back, Thomas
Hello VeloNews,
I wanted to pass along a thank you for posting the “Racing Today” sectionin your race coverage. It’s a great addition for us U.S. cycling fans.

It’s also good to see TomPrehn’s name back in print. He was my first cycling hero back in theday. If anyone knows race tactics, it’s him.
Daniel Smith
Seattle, Washington


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.