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more questions for pros?(12 posts)

more questions for pros?DougSloan
Mar 21, 2003 2:14 PM
Did this a couple years ago, but now thought of more questions I'd like to ask a pro. Anyone with accurate information (not speculation) can answer, though.

1. Do you wear your team outfit every single time you ride?

2. Would you tell everyone you love whatever sponsored equipment you have, regardless of how much you might prefer something else?

3. Do you enjoy riding, or is it simply like a job to you?

4. Would you ever consider doing RAAM, or something similar, after retiring?

5. How fast are the best pros on twisty mountain descents, compared to the best amateurs?

6. Do you ever ride with amateur groups or others just for fun, or would you consider it too dangerous, too slow, or is that just not done?


re: more questions for pros?No_sprint
Mar 21, 2003 2:37 PM
I've got a couple of answers for you. No speculation.

1. I have ridden with pros in other than their team gear. It is extremely rare though.

6. The answer would be yes. I ride with some big name pros regularly and I'm no pro, neither are most riders at rides like the Donut ride, crit practice rides at the Rose Bowl, Simi, where they are often sighted.
I thought you were already as close to pro as can be, Doug :-))PeterRider
Mar 21, 2003 2:38 PM
LOL; maybe like Eddy Merckx (now) nmDougSloan
Mar 21, 2003 2:49 PM
re: more questions for pros?Spoiler
Mar 21, 2003 2:48 PM
Here in Tucson, Canadian Pro Gord Fraser regularly joins a group ride sponsored by a local shop on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays. The group has everything from Pros, Cat V's and 60+ seniors. In good weather, we can get 100+ riders. The rides all start out chilled, but once we get out of town, the pace picks up and generally, anyone who doesn't race at some level gets dropped.
Along with riding with him in these groups, I see him on the road all the time. During all this time, I've only seen him out of his former Mercury team uniform once. That was the Saturday after Sept. 11. He wore a Stars and Stripes jersey.
This answers two of your questions. #1 and #6.

I interviewed Gord for a school story and he said he prefers to ride with groups rather than train alone. He feels that racing and cycling for him, is a group activity. He doesn't rely on watt meters or HRM's, but if he needs to work on something specific, he may go on his own.

He said on these group rides, when the pace is easy, he can cruise up and down the group, saying hi to different people. But when the pace starts to pick up at designated points, he's at the front. He figures at fast enough paces, the people who belong at the front will be there, and those who don't belong at the front won't be able to be there for long. He doesn't worry about getting "taken out" by a less experienced rider's mistake.
I got the feeling that equipment-wise, pro's feel a certain obligation to stick with sponsor's equipment whenever possible. They don't go looking for different equipment unless something they use is radically sub-par, which rarely happens.
note about Gord, MercuryNo_sprint
Mar 21, 2003 2:54 PM
He's not riding around in that old ratty Mercury garb this year. :) Healthnet. I still see guys in the pro/1/2 crits this year in Mercury kits. I don't know who they are or what's goin' on, but I wonder.
note about Gord, MercurySpoiler
Mar 21, 2003 3:15 PM
Is it possible that these are Mercury guys who still haven't found a new team yet?
For a while, it was rumored that HotWheels(z?) was going to pick up for Mercury. They were pretty psyched about what the uniforms would look like. Then that fell through and Gord did Lankawai in the Canadian National team colors.
I don't know that I can speak for anyone, but...TJeanloz
Mar 21, 2003 2:48 PM
The answers that all the pros I know would give:

1. Yes. The only clothing I have that isn't my current team kit is the stuff I had when I was 16 years old. Since my team kit is free, it's all I ever have. And I sell whatever is left at Veloswap.

2. Would I tell everyone? No. Would I tell everyone that I didn't know really, really well that I love my sponsors' equipment? Yes. But generally, I'm ambivilent about equipment, as long as it works and doesn't let me down. If it breaks at a critical moment, I might tell everybody that I know that I hate it.

3. This one is different for everybody. Most enjoy riding most of the time, but it isn't all fun and games.

4. RAAM? Hell no. I've been riding 25,000 miles a year for 10 years, I'll be damned if I'm going to put myself through that.

5. The best pros? Like Salvodelli? A lot better. Consider how much better the best pros are than the worst pros, and that the worst pros are probably about as good as the best amatuers. Think back to the Pantani/Salvodelli stage in the Giro a few years back.

6. There aren't enough pros in the world that I can only ride with them. I train with amatuers every day. A lot of them were my teammates, are my friends, etc. On my rest/spin days I often hook up with small groups.
re: What to give LA..the man has everything....teoteoteo
Mar 21, 2003 7:08 PM
I am having a Nick moment patient. As I may have shared many times I am lucky enough to be a freelance writer part-time, and employed as a full-time shop geek in Austin at Armstrong's hometown shop.

I have covered some pretty cool events and can say most of the big name guys are pretty cool about things. I think softening them up with something that makes them laugh or smile is a good approach to always get what you want. LA in particular likes a good laugh so when I have my chances I try to work some fun in. My best so far was a shot to get a special pic attached to his TT rig prior to some wind tunnel stuff with Nike and company.

Our head mechanic is his personal friend and since has been hired to be LA's full-time asisstant. Austin has a homeless cross dresser named Leslie and the guy is a total celebrity. He's run for Mayor, been in ad's for tech companies, and best of all serves as a constant source of bizarre entertainment. So Leslie shows up at the shop in a mini dress and with fake boobs (he stuffs I think. He has an old Puegot PX that he needs fixed-up. Seizing a photo- op I grab our Digi cam and have him pose for a pic outside with a new 5900.

He's a photo whore and loves the attention but starts to ask what I am going to do with the pics. I explain they are for a Lance prank and he starts asking me to introduce him because he wants to meet him. When I explain I can't it must not sink in because 5 minutes later I am being paged to come downstairs to the sales floor. Leslie is waiting and pleads for me to tell him where Lance is riding tomorrow. I Play dum and he finally gives up. The result you'll see below. This pic was shrunken and then laminated. Once complete we added to his aero bars. It was a hit with LA and the Nike exec's...would have like to have seen his face.

The caption on back I added went along these lines "Your local shop wants to say congrats on number four and this was the best gift we could think of for the man who has everything. Leslie is ready to ride and is available now for your next Trek media campaign."
Pantani with a hair-weave?!serbski
Mar 21, 2003 8:16 PM
...and I thought he'd only gotten his ears pinned back.
I know that parking lot!Asphalt Addict
Mar 22, 2003 8:42 AM
When I lived in Austin I used to go to your shop all the time. That parking space in the corner behind Leslie is a b*tch to get out of if your drivng a pickup when the lot is full. Great picture! Thanks
I know that parking lot!teoteoteo
Mar 22, 2003 9:45 AM
That spot does cause a problem or two I can say that I've watched many drivers struggle. If any of you make Ride for the Roses stop in and ask for Ted--I'll bore you to tears. We're the official "host shop" and will have a store at the Expo and our normal location which is close by...