Wednesday’s mailbag: Single-speeds, humor, Prehn and really light bikes

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.Single-speeding offers a challengeEditor: I am writing in response to Andrew Juskaitis’s single-speed article. I race a single speed in the Wisconsin WORS series . Personally speaking, if I had to race my age group (40 plus) rather than in a

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.


Single-speeding offers a challenge
Editor:
I am writing in response to Andrew Juskaitis’s single-speed article. I race a single speed in the Wisconsin WORS series . Personally speaking, if I had to race my age group (40 plus) rather than in a separate category I would consistently be in the top five riders. It gives me more satisfaction finishing in the top 10 of the single-speed category knowing that I am beating riders that in some cases are 15-20 years younger than me. And besides it is one of the hardest things I have ever done.

Eric Nelson
Waukesha, Wisconsin

Not nearly as hard as hefting the bag full of mail we got after Andrew’s column was posted, Eric. Read on . . . – Editor

Technology dictates separate category for single-speeders
Editor:
Regarding Andrew Juskaitis’ somewhat dim-witted tech column and his comments about the single-speed category: I’m not sure why Juskaitis felt like it was necessary to use his “tech” column to bag on single-speeders. First of all, his logic in saying that Keith Benedetto’s comment, as quoted in Grand Junction’s The Daily Sentinel “sums up the prime mentality of this growing legion of male and female racers” is an obvious fallacy. His comments only represent his own view – duh! Now, as far as Juskaitis’s belief that age, sex or dicky-do size are somehow more legitimate ways to create a “race class” than the type of bike one is riding makes no sense. I would love to hear his justifications and proofs of that statement. What exactly is a “sport” rider anyway? Single-speeders are just a bunch of guys and gals who like to ride – fast or slow. What does one’s age, weight or arbitrary perception of their ability really have to do with determining race classes? Is a 29-year-old any different than a 30-year-old? In my opinion, the best thing about the single-speed class is that there are no excuses and no arbitrary class separations. Everyone races together. The simplicity of the bike does change things. On climbs or twisting single-track, a single-speed is an advantage because of its inherent efficiency. Yet on a long, gradually descending road, the single-speed is at a disadvantage compared to a bike with multiple gears. For these reasons it can make sense to separate the single-speed riders from the others. The single-speed race at Fruita got a lot of attention from the local paper because it was one of the largest (about 25 racers) and most hotly contested classes (ending with a three-person sprint). In contrast, the pro men’s race had four competitors who rode in minutes apart. Not too exciting, eh? So, Andrew, maybe you should get out of the “sport, she-men’s, tech-weenie, 30.5 to 36.4, Caucasian, sorta fat and out of shape, not too tall, not too short, goateed, left ear pierced” class and race in the true-grit single-speed class. I’ll bet you have trouble stomaching the tequila shot at the start and finish last. Brian Riepe
Gunnison, Colorado

Humor good, top-10 lists bad
Editor:
To Susan Miller: You go girl (see Monday’s mailbag: “Here’s your hat, there’s the door”). I love the part about the sense of humor. I also could not agree more about those other magazines’ stories about top-10 places to ride. If you have the kind of money to travel all over the place to ride, you most likely are not reading the magazine to begin with. Keep O’Grady writing, and I will keep reading.

Eddie Winkler

More Prehn, too, please
Editor:
Thomas Prehn’s two commentaries on Giro tactics were interesting. Any way to encourage the publication of more?

Thomas Rabedeau

Funny you should mention it, Thomas. We posted another Prehn piece today, and you can get there from here. – Editor

There’s light – and then there’s light
Editor:
The general manager of Scott USA was touting the “lightest bike in the world” on a recent OLN broadcast – their full carbon beauty tips the scales at about 14 pounds. I guess he hasn’t ever seen www.light-bikes.com, where there are several sub-14-pound bikes on display. Nice try, though!

James Considine
Albany, New York


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.