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The dilemma of our sport being called fringe...(27 posts)

The dilemma of our sport being called fringe...eschelon
Jul 25, 2002 8:35 AM
I've noticed many people here who seemed to get really worked up when other persons in the media and the like won't give our sport its due of legitimacy. This is okay...obviously there are many people who just want a little respect...you know...like Rodney Dangerfield. What's a true sport? Who's an athelete? Who's not? What's not? Do I really give a shit about what some typical baseball or football fan thinks about cycling being a sport? Do I really care about what some WWF or NWO or WCW thinks about cycling being a lesser sport than wrestling?

If you really think for a moment and imagine if you will of what the typical person who loves these "real" sports looks like, would you really give a shit what they had to say about anything? I mean, jesus, these guys drink beer, eat chips out of some large tupperware bowl and enough carbohydrate foods at a typical Super Bowl party with their buddies to cause Dr. Atkins to want to buy some congressmans to enact some new bill to abolish carbohydrate consumption for good.

My attitude towards this negative attitude towards our sport is: f### 'em. Who needs their opinions? Even if they did respect our sport, I still wouldn't give a shit. All that I care is that there is enough and growing interest in racers and organizers to have races that I can participate in and that auto drivers can respect my space and right to use the roads. I'll take the latter anyday over widespread public acceptance.
Consider golf?UncleMoe
Jul 25, 2002 8:41 AM
I much prefer the debate about golf. Any sport where you can drink beer and smoke cigs while participating is not a sport. Golf is a game of skill. Not that it isn't difficult, and obviously the players get paid well, but just because it is covered on ESPN does not make it a sport, IMHO.
then biking's not a sportSteveO
Jul 25, 2002 8:50 AM
I drink a beer on my after-dinner ride around the neighborhood every night.

Also see plenty of smokers pedaling around the bikepaths.

I'm not defending golf, just dont agree with your criteria.
Careful. . .js5280
Jul 25, 2002 8:54 AM
There's a pretty famous photo of cyclists smoking (I'm sure someone will dig it up) and I'm sure I read somewhere that they used to drink cognac while riding.
Consider golf?elrey
Jul 25, 2002 8:57 AM
I think that rationale for considering golf not a sport is rediculous. Basketball is considered a sport, but while playing in my backyard with my friends I might drink a beer insted of gatorade between games. I could go for a bike ride and put vodka in my camelback instead of water. How professionals and amateurs play the game does not determine if an activity is a sport. Try walking 4 miles, carrying at least a 20lbs bag, and wrapping your body around itself 70-100 times in 100 degree heat. Did I mention that it isn't flat either? Oh, and you have to be able to steady yourself mentally and physically to sink a three foot putt. I believe most physical activity at a professional level is a sport. That makes me believe that the same activity at an amateur or recreational level is also a sport.
Consider golf?Joshua
Jul 25, 2002 9:49 AM
I would like to take this a step in another direction. Would you consider the Marines a sport. I just finished a three year tour with the First Marine Division. We would often "walk" 10, 15, 18, 25 miles at a time. Carrying a pack that weighed 60+ pounds, oh yeah since I was the corpsman (thats a medic for those of you who dont know)I would have to tack on an extra 20-30 pounds.I dont think i need to mention its not flat either. By the way theres no shade in the Mojave desert we would go for field-ops. So by your criteria would Marines be athletes too.
Marines are most definitely athletes!!!elrey
Jul 25, 2002 9:52 AM
Hoo-Yah! nmeschelon
Jul 25, 2002 10:23 AM
Cycling and golf *structure*No_sprint
Jul 25, 2002 10:20 AM
Consider the structures of both sports. At the entry level you've got riders that have to spend a bundle to equip. themselves. The richies go for the C-40s regardless of their ability just like they go for the newest set of Callaway woods, Camerson putter, Titleist irons, staff bag. Those struggling, not so rich, younger, and those who are new but really want to get good fast, enter by way of less than that equipment, used much of the time.

Then, you've got your rec or club riders. Once again, lots of less than stellar athletes out to have a good time in both sports. Typically all very well equipped with $5000 of bike or clubs although the athleticism and skill aint there.

Then you've got your am competitors. Just like cats in cycling, you've got flights in golf tourneys. The level of competition is raised greatly here. All the equipment is well used no matter how new, many times good and old, been through the war, etc. As you go up the ladder, the competition and reward gets greater. Then you've got pros who at both sports are fully stocked with whatever their sponsors give them.

Really identical structure. Being a good golfer will not make you a good cyclist, nor vice versa.
Consider golf?94Nole
Jul 25, 2002 9:23 AM
It's obviously a sport. It may not be an "athletic" sport but sport nonetheless.

How about "sport" shooting? Sportfishing? Clearly sports but ones that do not require the skills of a worldclass athlete.

I think we are getting too darn defensive and shoudl shut up and ride.
nail on the head.SteveO
Jul 25, 2002 9:28 AM
the problem here, is people complaining about golf and other activities os 'sport', only have a 3rd grade understanding of the word.

A 'Sport' is a Recreation or physical activity one engages for pleasure. A participant may, or may not be an 'athlete', which implies the need for strength, agility, or stamina.

boy. things ARE slow.
nail on the head.elrey
Jul 25, 2002 9:51 AM
So is Tiger Woods and athlete playing a sport? I believe his athleticism(agility) and physical conditioning(strength, stamina), things associated with world class athletes, has allowed him to excel at the sport of golf. There is an old Golf Digest article on Nick Faldo. In the article he went to the British Olympic testing center and found him to be on par with world class olympic athletes.
nail on the head.UncleMoe
Jul 25, 2002 9:58 AM
I never thought of it that way. I looked up sport and it was defined as "an active diversion", so that opens up a lot of possibilities.

For the record, I didn't intend to sound like I was complaining about golf, just intended to further the discussion.

How about from an athletic standpoint? It does bug me that Tiger Woods is probably more likely to be voted Athelete of the Year than Lance Armstrong is. I believe Lance is maybe 50 times more athletic than Tiger Woods.
I can't believe...UncleMoe
Jul 25, 2002 10:15 AM
that I missed the golf/sport debate thread below. Too late to enter that one. Oh well.
Consider golf?Bike Fool
Jul 25, 2002 10:46 AM
Thank you, 'Nole for that reply. As a cyclist and avid golfer, I really get peeved when someone's gotta compare one to the other or dis' one or the other. Do whatever feels good and shut up already!!!
Wow, you really cuss a lot...you must be right. nm.amflyer
Jul 25, 2002 9:16 AM
Damn!..I hate that word: cuss...eschelon
Jul 25, 2002 9:30 AM
Hey, this ain't the Christian Chat Forum! We're all grown ups right? You aren't saying 10 hail marys with your rosary for me are you?

TELL IT TO ME!...SAY IT....SAAAAAAAAAAAY ITTTTTTTTT! Am I going to go to PURGATORY? Oh the shame! Oh the humanity!

Someone! Someone give me some snakes so that I can dance around the office with them like them Appalachian religious nuts do to save my blasphemous soul!
...and creative too! I like you esch. Ta. nm.amflyer
Jul 25, 2002 10:10 AM
Are you guys all a bunch of lawyers?elviento
Jul 25, 2002 10:40 AM
Who cares what the definition of sports is? Does it change anything? Does it prevent Tiger from making multi million dollars? Does it change your passion about cycling?
ClarificationRubberbandman
Jul 25, 2002 11:43 AM
I believe we are using the words athlete and sport to mean the same thing. They are very different. Sport is a lose term for any competition of game (I'm sure someone will offer the Webster Dictionary definition). Most activities can be called sports, golf, cycling, darts, bowling and baseball. Athletes are those who use physical abilities in a sporting activity.

People get emotional and defensive when their sport participants are not condidered athletes.Some how to be called an athlete validates you and your sport. This tends to make the arguements subjective and nothing gets resolved. As I see it, the best way to get to some resolution is to quantify or qualify what defines an athlete. Once we agree on how to qualify the word athlete then we can apply it to specific sports.

Here is what qualifies and athlete to me. To qualify as an athlete one would have to meet at least 3 of 4.
Strength
Speed
Endurance
Hand/Eye Coordination

In general, golfers are not athletes. Sure Tiger may be a great athlete, but his athletic abilities have very little to do with his success on the links.

I believe cyclists are athletes.

Bowlers, archers, golfers, fisherman and race car drivers are not athletes

Sorry for the ramble.
RBM
Your clarification is wrongNo_sprint
Jul 25, 2002 12:02 PM
You are wrong that his athletic abilities have very little to do with his success.

You might not understand this if you're not a golfer.

Secondly, I understand that one must have a great deal of athleticism to simply be able to drive the Indy 500 let alone compete.

According to your definition, many baseball players and football players are not athletes. Many baseball players are not strong or fast and I'll be the farm, not many have much endurance. Some have none of the four. Many centers in basketball have none of your four criteria either.
Your clarification is wrongRubberbandman
Jul 25, 2002 12:37 PM
The automobile is doing the majority of the work. When is the last time you heard a race car driver talk about his off-season conditioning. Sure its time consuming and hot and arguably there is a level of endurance but they are not athletes.

Sure there are examples in football, baseball and basketball that don't fit the criteria-but in general to compete in these sports requires athletic abilities.In general, baseball players are strong and speed is a factor in the game. Of course endurance is not an issue. But baseball players meet 3 of the 4. Many centers in basketball to have any of the four criteria? Name 5 starting NBA centers that don't have 3 of the four criteria.

Now regarding golf, that is exactly what I mean about someone who participates in a sport and can not seperate his emotion with common sense. Your "if you're not a golfer" comment doesn't offer anything. Any one can see that athletic ability has nothing to do with golf.

RBM
Once again, you're wrong.No_sprint
Jul 25, 2002 12:50 PM
Once again, you're wrong. Tiger's athleticism has upped the level of the entire field. His athleticism has been the key factor to making him a person who could be the greatest golfer ever, should his endurance both mental and physical take him that far. His strength has changed the makeup of the entire game. Golf requires arguably, the most hand/eye coordination I can think of. If the face of the club is off by millimeters, the translation 300 yards down the course, it could be out of bounds.

If you're not a golfer, you don't know just how much athleticism is involved, just the same as if you're not a cyclist.

Once you start making judgements you know nothing about, you're in the same group as the famous Ron Borges. You've made it. Congrats.
Game of skillUncleMoe
Jul 25, 2002 2:16 PM
Damn we all like floating our own opinions. IMHO, Golf is a game of skill. By definition, golf is a sport, so I'll accept that. But saying that golfers are atheletes is a bit of a stretch. It takes a great deal of skill and requires thousands of hours of practice and patience. It does not require a tremendous amount of conditioning or endurance. I think that is the point some of us are trying to make as we poke fun at golfers.

Its sort of like a few years back when David Wells (can't remember if he was pitching for the Yankees or Blue Jays at the time) was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He is fat, out of shape, yet still a tremendous pitcher. The article started off along the lines of "Here is the David Wells training diet: Hotdogs, potato chips, and beer." David Wells thru a fit over it.

What I'm getting at is, I'm not sure I'd consider David Wells an athelete. Can he do more than throw a baseball 95+ MPH over and over again with incredible accuracy?

More of what I'm getting at, take someone like Jordan who has been called the greatest athelete of all time. Put him on a football field, baseball field, soccer field, etc., and I think you'll find he can be competitive in just about anything. I bet if you put him on a bike he'd do pretty well. Maybe not at the professional level, but after a short bit of training, I bet he'd adjust well.

I think by athelete, we tend to think of those people where various competetive sporting events come natural. I don't view Tiger Woods in that manner. He excels at golf, which I've played and suck at no matter what kind of shape I am in. When I am out of shape I suck, when I am in shape I suck. My athletic ability has nothing to do with it.

I bet if I polled 10 salespeople in my office whose only outdoor activity is golf if they considered themselves athletic, they would all say yes. If you polled 10 coworkers who saw them play volleyball at the company picnic if they thought those sales people were athletic, they would say no.

Sorry, I just can't buy the Tiger Woods as the greatest athelete. In comparison, I think Lances natural ability, conditioning, and training habits would make him a decent competitor in other sports he might try, not that he will. As soon as Tiger does more than pump his fist after hitting a 30 foot putt for Birdie, until he breaks a sweat because he is running from hole to hole while carrying his 50 pound bag, I just don't get it.
Once again, you're wrong.Rubberbandman
Jul 25, 2002 4:00 PM
Golf has incredible hand eye coordination. But in general there is little athleticism in the game. Swinging a 2 pound club 70 times is by no means a show of strength or endurance. Tiger may be a great athlete but it has little to do with his success. Just because he is dominating golf at they moment every one is look for a tangible reason why. So they look at him and see a lean fit young man-boom its because he's a great athlete. Golf is success is mental not physical. His athleticism and success is a coincedence.

This arguement has been discussed many times on different sport show and every single discussion ends the same way. The hosts concur that golfers aren't athletes. As one espn host said just this week "If you can go to dinner in the same clothes you played your sport in, your not an athlete".

And I don't have to play a sport to be able to observe what physical attributes it takes. That reasoning is as senseless as anything I've heard.
Cycling <--> Golf, Happy Marriage?rengaracchi
Jul 26, 2002 12:04 AM
My girlfriend is a single level golfer, and she has been trying to draw me into the sport. I, a cyclist, have been trying to introduce her the world cycling in return. I bought her a custom-made road bike this year :-).

Golf is a sport. There is no doubt about it. However, as someone above mentioned, you are in the world of fractal physics: you cannot predict the end result of a tiny mistake you made at the beginning. It's like there is a flood in Mexico because a butterfly made a swing in China.

Is a golfer an athlete? Ask the same question to a great billiard player. Was Minnesota Fat a great athlete? I'm trying to say that not all sports are the same. We are endowed with many different physical and mental abilities, and for each ability we have, there is a sport to test it. That's all.

I think golf is often ridiculed/hated because of its image and what it does to the environment. I personally don't like golf because it causes tremendous destruction to the environment. Cycling is basically nature friendly. That 100 cyclists cycle a 100km race in 2 hours doesn't really destroy anything, but making and maintaining a golf course alone put a lot of constraint on nature. Plus, golf is an expensive sport. Some of us buy a $5,000 dollar bike, but it lasts practically for a life. But you have to pay fee to play golf each time, and the fee could be extremely high. In a country like Japan, where land is small but there are many golf crazy people, joining a country club is a status symbol, and people pay tens of thousands of dollars for it. We pay nothing to cycle. Early yesterday morning, I had one of the most incredible and beautiful ride of this season, but I pay 0 yen for it.

Do you think my girlfriend and I can get along? I just want to enjoy some athletic activity together for I read somewhere before that a couple who enjoys a common physical exercise has less chances of getting divorced than a couple who doesn't She is a great athlete, though.
What chaps my a$$ about other sports....clintb
Jul 26, 2002 7:32 AM
The fact that most, not all, sports require ridiculous amounts of land and financial resources to build an arena/track/course. Yet here we are with cycling, using the existing public automotive infrastructure, doing no damage and no ecological impact.

Did most people not grow up with bikes? Pity those who didn't.