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TDF #8 hardest in the world? USAToday blows.(28 posts)

TDF #8 hardest in the world? USAToday blows.mdo
Feb 20, 2003 5:45 AM
Maybe the worst article I've read in quite some time. Absolutely no basis for ranking (they spent 75% of the article on some guy who climbed a couple of the passes on a mountain bike). Oh well, at least bike racing is considered a sport here. What do you expect from the McDonalds of journalism?

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/2003-02-19-ten-hardest-tour-de-france_x.htm
Oh Good God.OldEdScott
Feb 20, 2003 6:00 AM
It's a nice little story for a general readership, and actually gave me -- who's not a general reader -- a little insight into how tough the mountain stages are.

Why do folks on this board always get so hopping mad whenever a newspaper doesn't kiss their ass by saying cycling's the greatest, hardest, most special thing in the world?

Sheesh.
I too didn't think it was that bad...biknben
Feb 20, 2003 7:01 AM
It even provided insight from LA. Most writers don't even bother with that. I actually enjoyed its description of the "peleton". Non-rider have no idea about what happens during a race and don't understand the chess that is being played. Maybe now they will have a better appreciation.

My $.02
peleton LOLcyclopathic
Feb 20, 2003 7:41 AM
this is not his fault. Editorial ran it through spell checker. Blame it on Microsoft.
Oh Good God.KeeponTrekkin
Feb 20, 2003 7:12 AM
Agreed - article was not so bad, even for mainstream journalism. Note that the writer is an accomplished cyclist. That puts his achievement in better focus and puts the abilities of desk jockeys like me in even more humble perspective. (25 min for LA, 1 hr. for writer, 1 day for me?)

btw, #9 is stopping a penalty kick (soccer/football)
#10 is downhill ski racing.

both are certainly achievements requiring skill and fitness but neither comes close to 20 days hard labor (TdF).

KoT
Are you stupid?PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Feb 20, 2003 7:42 PM
Have you ever been skiing or tried to stop a penalty shot? The difficulty of something is not just in the volume of training you have to put in. Its also in the talent required and training needed. And soccer and possibly skiing have much greater numbers of people doing them world wide that cycling does.

A skiier may do significanly less volume that a cyclist but most of it is in the weight room putting on muscle mass to reach what they are capable of genetically to help them to excel. Then of course theres the technique and feel needed to negotiate a corner at 80-90 mph.

Then stopping a penalty kick: 1) you would have been rooted out from tens of thousands of kids to be talented... 2) theres a lot of guess work involved in where the shot will go... 3) you have to jump in front of the ball that is flying very fast. Its probably a lot of sheer talent but still something I have great respect for.

Nick
PodiumBound.ca
Let's remain civil pleaseKeeponTrekkin
Feb 21, 2003 8:04 AM
No I'm not stupid - please read more carefully. I compared one factor of the achievements - endurance (20 days vs. 2 min. vs. 2 sec.) You are certainly right that the others (and probably the top 7 too) are incredibly difficult and require dedicated preparation. I acknowledged that (briefly). It's inherently impossible to compare dissimilar things. That's why these publications write this sort of article; it generates comment and more readers. I wrote about one aspect where a simple comparison was possible. I kept it short and did not "dis" the other achievements.
re: difficultcyclopathic
Feb 21, 2003 8:35 AM
dif·fi·cult ( P ) Pronunciation Key (df-klt, -klt) adj.

1. Hard to do or accomplish; demanding considerable effort or skill; arduous: "To entertain is far more difficult than to enlighten" (Anthony Burgess). See Synonyms at hard.
2. Hard to endure; trying: fell upon difficult times.
3. Hard to comprehend or solve: a difficult puzzle.

I think it is pretty much self-explainatory. Difficult = hard to accomplish.
Absolutely.djg
Feb 20, 2003 7:13 AM
It's not a piece aimed at enthusiasts, but for what it is it seems ok. Hardly a travesty.
wondering what is in 1-7? Nascar? Left field? Yeesh. nmSpunout
Feb 20, 2003 6:27 AM
Seven possibilities off the top of my headOldEdScott
Feb 20, 2003 7:12 AM
Pitching a perfect game ... winning the heavyweight championship ... winning horse racing's Triple Crown ... batting .400 ... winning the Grand Slam in golf ... ditto in tennis ...

I'm sure there are others.
Those are good, although they look like 6 to me.djg
Feb 20, 2003 7:23 AM
Or does the horse racing thing count for two?

It's pointless to argue what's the most difficult. Most difficult for whom? Mike Tyson would likely have trouble on the Ventoux. Lance would probably have trouble going eleven seconds with Mike, even the Mike that's no longer what he used to be (I'd venture to guess that Lance as a boxer wouldn't know the difference in any case).

I gather that the tennis grand slam is hard, as evidenced by the fact that only two men have done it. Ever.

Hmm, olympic men's hundred meter race--I don't think I could win that either.
Oh. Right. I meant to addOldEdScott
Feb 20, 2003 7:58 AM
summitting Mt. Everest.
Oh, c'mon. It was a fine article. My quibble, though, is withbill
Feb 20, 2003 7:14 AM
calling that guy Sal an Average Joe. Until you read the whole thing, Sal's description of tooling up Mount Ventoux in an hour versus Armstrong's 25 minutes, leaves you thinking, how can some couch potato writer dude average joe manage the friggin mountain in a single digit multiplier of Armstrong's time and live to tell the tale? And then you find out he's a 5th place World Masters mtb racer. He is NOT an Average Joe.
Lance climbed Ventoux in 25min??cyclopathic
Feb 20, 2003 7:23 AM
I thought the record stands at 57min
What's wrong with the article?Kristin
Feb 20, 2003 7:36 AM
I think the article was fine. If the author had droned on and on about yellow jerseys and green jerseys and had filled his article with lots of terms that ordinary readers couldn't identify, then I the article would have been poorly written. Sal's article may attract more ordinary people to the sport. Is that bad? Don't we want cycling to become more popular in the US? I do.

I need to point out that you mis-stated something in your post. You said, "...they spent 75% of the article on some guy who climbed a couple of the passes on a mountain bike..."

Actually, Sal Ruibal is both the author of the article and the rider. Here is what he said about his second ride, "The Madeleine was a more sporting attempt: I rode on a regulation Tour team bike with professional-level gearing." I've never seen a regulation tour team mountain bike before.

That said, I must take issue with one of Mr. Ruibal's ascertation that he is an "average Joe." Anyone who has, "trained with Armstrong's coach Chris Carmichael for three years," and, "In this year's 24-hour solo mountain bike world championships...placed fifth," is no ordinary Joe. He's a racer, and a pretty good one at that.

I'm an ordinary Joe...erm...well, close enough. I doubt I could find The Madeleine on a map, let alone summit the thing on a bike--no matter what the gearing.
It doesn't say the TDF is the hardest event out therePODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Feb 20, 2003 7:46 PM
Obviously since the TDF is so long and intense its the hardest sporting event out there. F*ck some of you must have your brain in your balls and its gone numb. I love cycling... its challenging... but I'd hardly say its the hardest sport out there. Its hard to say any sport takes that crown since all sports require different things that require different physical and mental attributes. And you people b!tch about lawyers and doctors being elitist and not saying hi... your shutting out every other sport out there.

Nick
PodiumBound.ca
it isn't even harderst cycling eventcyclopathic
Feb 21, 2003 5:44 AM
I think last year Giro was harder. Besides RAAM will give TdF a run.
With respect to what is the hardest sport out there I am lost ;)
Nick, I'm sorry...I am making every attempt to be nice hereKristin
Feb 21, 2003 7:11 AM
But sometimes you can be just plain mean. I don't understand why that is, but I'm trying to be sympthetic because I know you've had a couple bad accidents and that's gotta be tough. But I didn't say ANYTHING in my post about the difficulty of the TDF--absolutely nothing at all. So I am puzzled and am racking my brain to understand your response. I have NEVER IN MY LIFE made the ascertion that cycling is the hardest sport OR THAT the TDF is the hardest sporting event out there. I'm not an elitist at all. I ride slow...slower than probably anyone on this board, and admit it freely. I also said NOTHING in my post that could have possibly indicated that I was being elitist. I simply stated that a man who placed fifth in a national masters race should not call himself an average Joe...that accomplishment is above average. So please tell me. What is your issue with me? Why are you speaking to me in this tone and using that language?

Finally, I'd appreciate it if you don't use that tone or language in response to me ever again. You post was harsh and offensive and, honestly...inappropriate.
Kristin you're taking it personalcyclopathic
Feb 21, 2003 8:01 AM
Nick wasn't referring to you or you comments at all he merely explained the prevailing boo tone of comments above. This is clearly misunderstanding don't spend time fighting windmills ;)

happy trails
Of course I'm taking it personallyKristin
Feb 21, 2003 8:23 AM
This was a response to my post in which suggests that my brains are in my balls...which, by the way, I don't have any... balls that is. If Nick wanted to reply to someone else, he should have done so.
I am glad you didn't loose humorcyclopathic
Feb 21, 2003 8:40 AM
so don't loose your cool, o'k?

CP

PS with respect to having no balls look at the bright side you can have any you wish.
Skills or accomplishments?torquer
Feb 20, 2003 8:04 AM
I will be interesting to see the full list, but, questions of writing/editing/spell-checking aside, I find the main problem with this effort is that it fails to distinguish those feats that require extraordinary skills (say hitting a Roger Clements fastball) with success coming from sustained effort (Dimaggio's hitting streak).

The soccer goalie is an example of the first, while the TdF seems to me to come closer to the second.
Right. The premise is 'hardest thing to do.'OldEdScott
Feb 20, 2003 8:15 AM
Does that mean 'do one time' or 'do OVER time?' The three items presented seem to be a mix.
For God's sake53T
Feb 20, 2003 9:56 AM
It's a sports article! It's not supposed to make scense.
Scense? I had those once. Some kind of English pastry, right? nmKristin
Feb 20, 2003 11:26 AM
to almost 90 miles? Aren't some stages longer than that?nmBruno S
Feb 20, 2003 1:33 PM
Another (stupid) "cycling is the hardest sport ever" rantPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Feb 20, 2003 4:50 PM
I hate this arguement. Its made by every sport saying why they are better than any other sport. So saying the Tour de France is the hardest event ever isn't true. Duration doesn't make something any harder than doing something fast.

People make fun of baseball all the time (including me) yet would I ever have a chance of making the pro's? Probably not. Same thing when you compare the Tour de France (one of the the worlds longest sporting events) to the 100 m sprint (one of the worlds shortest sporting events). Which is more difficult? The answer is neither because both take years of training albeit in different ways on top of natural talent to be good at.

Just be happy that it gives non cyclists a look into our sport. I know people who have said "how hard is it to pedal a bike". The answer its not hard... but to be good you have to pedal a heck of a lot faster and harder than you can now.

Nick
PodiumBound.ca