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yes, she is all that(23 posts)

yes, she is all thatcyclopathic
Dec 18, 2003 9:09 AM

Long distance is her calling
Boxford cyclist Lyon dials up endurance
By Susan Bickelhaupt, Globe Staff, 12/12/2003

There are leisurely bike rides that clubs hold on weekends, and
there are bike races, such as the Tour de France, in which
the object is to be the fastest.

Then there are long endurance rides, in which the object is
somewhere in between.
Some cyclists are glad just to finish the 750-mile ride from
Paris to Brest -- a port city in western France -- and back to Paris
in under the 90-hour time limit,
and others are proud to be one of the first finishers.

Melinda Lyon of Boxford is one of the latter.

She has ridden the Paris-to-Brest route three times, and in August was
the first woman finisher for the second consecutive time.
The first time she rode it, in 1995, she was
the first American woman to finish.
Of the 4,000 riders from around the world who entered,
468 were Americans, and 400 of them finished.

Lyon covered the course in 55 hours 48 minutes with
virtually no help and little sleep,
as opposed to the Tour de France or the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic,
which are stage events with separate races each day, and
the rider with the lowest cumulative time wins.
Sure, the elite racers might be on their bikes for six hours in the
but they at least get to have a hot meal, get a massage, and
sleep in a hotel room before they do it all over again.

On the long rides, called "Randonneurs," a support crew is optional, and
the riders who want to finish first don't dally with much sleep time.
Lyon, who also has ridden six Boston-to-Montreal-to- Boston rides
-- also 750 miles -- usually catches Z's by
putting her head down on a cafeteria table.

Five minutes of rest is OK for her; 20 minutes is too long.

"I like to rest as much as anybody, but
it's probably just best to keep going," Lyon said.
"Once I stop and rest, I stiffen up and realize how tired I am.
And once I get on the bike, all I want to do is get done,
so I get a little bit nutty about that.
But I want to keep going and get the ride done with."

So asking a cyclist such as Lyon why she does this equates to
asking a hiker why she climbs Mt. Everest.

"Well, it's nice to know you can do something like that;
it's very satisfying when you're done," said Lyon.

But Lyon, 41, acknowledges she feels emotions ranging from
frustration to pride when she finishes a ride.

"I had a friend take a picture of me at the end of the race, so
I'd see how bad I looked and remember," she said last week.
Her matted-down hair and her "torn and twisted clothes" showed her a

It was hard, she said, but not hard enough to
forget to have a good time in Paris.
She finished the ride at 3 a.m. Thursday,
biked to the hotel outside of Paris where her sister was, and
woke her so they and Diane Goodwin (the one who took the picture)
could have a beer.
Lyon slept a few hours, then spent the next two days
visiting museums and the Eiffel Tower with her sister,
Sarah, who lives in Jaffrey, N.H.

Lyon, who goes on recreational bike rides with
the Charles River Wheelmen, rode her first distance ride
-- a 24-hour ride in Wakefield -- in 1986.
Then she heard about the Boston-Montreal- Boston ride,
which was started by the USA Randonneurs.
Riders have to complete four certifying races, such as
the one in Montreal, to qualify for the Paris ride.

Lyon usually bikes the 15 miles from her home in Boxford to
her job as a cardiac technician at the
North Shore Medical Center in Salem.
But those short jaunts are certainly not enough to
train for her longer treks, so she often tacks on
a couple hours either before or after work.
Then on weekends she gets up at 2 a.m. to take a day-long ride.

She is the first to acknowledge
re: yes, she is all that continuecyclopathic
Dec 18, 2003 9:11 AM
She is the first to acknowledge that
not everyone shares her enthusiasm for long rides.
"Sometimes I don't even tell people because
they have zero interest and it makes their eyes glaze over, and
they don't even understand the scope of what we're doing," she said.
"So it's just not worth going into."

She calls the Randonneur rides "racing like it used to be.
You register, and they say,
here's your map, here's your headlamp, and
we'll see you in a few days."

Jennifer Wise, president of the USA Randonneurs, said
the term originally was used to describe
hiking at your own speed on a trail.
"Randonneuring means that you have to be self-supportive," she said.
"The term has been adapted to encompass this
long-distance-ride, on-your-own style.
I call it cycle touring with a little French dressing."

In fact, Wise keeps the Boston-Montreal-Boston race so egalitarian that
every rider gets the same color medal, and
the results are printed in alphabetical order,
not in order of finish.

The rides have checkpoints about every 50 miles where
the riders sign in and buy food, refill their water bottle, or
take a nap.

"It's mostly mental,"
Wise said of Lyon's ability to ride so long and so fast.
"Her secret is that she keeps moving,
she does what she has to do at checkpoint with military precision.
She is quietly uncompromising."

Lyon said that even though the ride doesn't attract the publicity of
the Tour de France, people are lining the course 24 hours a day and
are well aware of what the group is doing.
Whenever she and other riders stopped, children would ask for
their autographs, and adults would gather around to
check out the bikes.

Lyon, who is 5 feet 4 inches, just shrugs when asked why she
goes on the strenuous ride.
"I've made really good friends now that we spend hundred of hours on
the bike together,
see them at 3 in the morning when they're exhausted . . .
you get to know people pretty well at that point."

"Some people you just see every four years, and sometimes
we don't even speak the same language, but
we all remember each other and it's really neat."

So despite the photograph that shows her worn and ragged after riding
750 miles in less than three and a half days,
Lyon will likely be back in four years.

"Once I started doing PBP, I said I'd always go back if
I physically could," Lyon said.
"I don't need to win every year, I could just go and enjoy it."

But so far, the victory seems to be indelibly linked with the enjoyment.

© Copyright 2003 Globe Newspaper Company.
re: yes, she is all that continueRFN
Dec 18, 2003 9:37 AM
To reiterate the Globe's postscript: "© Copyright 2003 Globe Newspaper Company."

So who's ponying up for the reprint rights?
I assume their webmaster?cyclopathic
Dec 18, 2003 9:44 AM
btw was there anything printed???
Dec 18, 2003 10:10 AM
The Internet is still the wild west of the legal world, but it ain't that wild. I admit "reprint rights" (my words) may not be the right terminology in this context- think of it as "usage rights."

Let me see if I can explain my beef:

The text you displayed here---to a sizable audience, in a public forum, without consent or compensation to the owner---is the property of the Globe. How? Because, either the author is a paid employee of the Globe, and as such her work product is the property of the company, or she is a freelancer, and the Globe purchased the material from her. Freelance arrangements vary widely- the Globe may own it forever, for awhile, or just the rights to first publication, but that's a different story.

By mass distibuting it, and not paying the appropriate fees to the owner of the material, posting it here is a violation of copyright law. Not a huge one, but it is. It also screws the rightful owner, and, through trickle down effect, the people who right the material. You have essentially taken inventory from their warehouse, and given it away in the parking lot. As a person who derives their income from writing, I'm pretty sensitive to this sort of thing, and see it happening in forums such as this one on a fairly frequent basis. Copyright law protects the printed word precisely because it is so easy to steal- as close as a photocopier, typewriter, or keyboard.

Think of it this way--what would happen if I started a website, and copied the entire contents of the Washington Post website to it each morning? Nothing's been printed, right?
so you own distribution fee if you lent newspaper to neighbor?cyclopathic
Dec 18, 2003 10:26 AM
xeroxed an article and mailed to your mom?
cut and paste URL link?

paranoia strikes deep
so you owe distribution fee if you lent newspaper to neighbor?RFN
Dec 18, 2003 10:44 AM
Lending a newspaper or sending to mom? My guess is nah, not enough of an issue to worry about, and probably well within the realm of normal use.

But neither of those are the same as wholesale cutting and pasting of content from one Web site that paid for it and owns it to another Web site that didn't and doesn't, for digestion by a significant number of the general public. Now, while reading information paid for by the Globe, people are seeing Competitive Cyclist ads, who pay, rather than the ads that allowed the Globe to pay for the piece.

Posting the URL? That's a great way to do it. Interested people here will know about the article, and the owner of the material still gets the site hits when people go to read it. The paper then presents the number of site hits to advertisers, who buy ads based on the number of people who will see them when they stop by to read the content. Then the money from the ads is used to pay people and keep the lights on so that they can provide more content for people to read the next day.
so you own distribution fee if you lent newspaper to neighbor?lc21998
Dec 18, 2003 10:46 AM
Cyclopathic's on to something. It's called the "fair use doctrine" and it is what allows you to make a Xerox of an article to save, make a copy of a CD you bought so that you don't scratch and ruin the original, tape Friends so that you can watch it later, etc. Fair use takes into account the purpose of the copying. Thus, the example about opening a competing website with the Washington Post's content is completely different from somebody posting an article to share with friends on a cycling website.

The copyright (and patent) laws are designed to provide only limited protections to owners. They are supposed to get enough so that it pays to create things. Other than that, intellectual property is generally supposed to belong to everyone. Thus, owners cannot completely govern what happens to their materials. The Founding Fathers thought that was so important, they put it in the Constitution.

Disclaimer: I am a lawyer but I don't do intellectual property work.
so you own distribution fee if you lent newspaper to neighbor?RFN
Dec 18, 2003 11:00 AM
Thanks for your response lc21998 - "fair use" is probably the term I was looking for above- i.e., it's about what the newspaper probably figures you're doing with it anyways when you buy it.

I realize I'm being a stickler on the rules here, more to illustrate a point than anything--as copyright infringements go, this one doesn't register. But is it so hard to just post a link so the creator/owner can get the benefit of their work product?

However- I do think you'd be hard pressed to argue that all of the frequenters of this board are "your friends." This is a bit broader than sliding the latest CycleSport under the stall to a coworker, and it is a real problem on the Internet. In most cases, nobody pays to see Internet content in the first place, as they do with a magazine or paper. To get a return, people have to see it on YOUR site. (of course, many sites with print outlets recycle material, but that, again, is a different story)

As I said, I'm a writer not a lawyer. But, I've had several talks about this subject with a family member who is an intellectual property attorney, and she tells me its a definite no-no.
speaking of Wasington Postcyclopathic
Dec 18, 2003 11:17 AM
Wash post looses ~.25$ (maybe more now) on every copy of weekday paper they sell.

Now, beats me how all this (and discussion above ;) relates to cycling. Let's speak of Melinda for change :)
so you own distribution fee if you lent newspaper to neighbor?lc21998
Dec 18, 2003 11:45 AM
You make good points. The truth is that this whole discussion only underscores the difficulty of applying old laws to new technology. Computers and the Internet make it almost too easy to copy stuff. The fair use doctrine itself is under attack in connection with DVD encription.

As to the economic issues you raise, the Boston Globe's site, where the article comes from, actually has a "printer friendly version" and an email to a "friend option." Thus, they don't seem to mind viewers copying and distributing their material. On the other hand, they're probably losing money on their website anyway. This just shows that the law isn't the only one trying to figure out how to adapt new technologies.

I think the key is making moneycyclopathic
Dec 18, 2003 12:13 PM
if one makes money by re-distributing copyrighted material w/o proper compensation and/or prevents owner from making money then it stops being a fair use.

In case of Boston Globe (or any other daily newspaper) they're actually loosing money on printed versions, so I doubt they'd mind free plug.
I think the key is making moneyRFN
Dec 18, 2003 12:39 PM
Cyclo- you're definitely on to something with the money aspect there, but I don't think its that cut and dry. You're also right that the BG probably could care less on this scale. And, I'm not trying to bust anyone's balls by going on--I'm actually enjoying the discussion. My point was that there are ways that are better for giving them the plug- like posting a link that still gets them what they want and gets us what we want--we read the article about cycling, they get hits to sell ads.

As far as losing money, both on selling print and on their website-- the money has to be somewhere, doesn't it? Its in the ads. Newspapers/pubs are usually about selling ads- the content is just the bait to get you to look at them. That's why it is important that sites and papers get the hits or sales--those numbers help them sell the ads and keep the presses turning and computers whirring.

jl--I hear you on the old laws v. new technology issue. Seems its been brewing for awhile-- remember the stink when electronics companies started making double-deck VCRs so people could copy tapes? I actually (obviously ;) find the new realm of copyright stuff the Web brings about fascinating.

One last example, because I just thought of it and I like it--you set up a sort of message board, where people can post whatever they think is the interesting article of the day, from any online or print pub, and everyone else can come and read it for free and without going to the newstand or logging onto the content provider's website. It is just sharing the good stuff among friends, right? It's just giving the publication and the writer a shout out, right?

Only problem is, someone tried it, but the content was music and not articles, and the recording industry didn't think too much of it, and we all know the rest. Talk about "fair use" beaten to death.

Why yes, it is a slow day at work.
giving paper to neighborAsiago
Dec 18, 2003 2:01 PM
Giving your newspaper to your neighbor does not violate anything. No copies were made. It's still the original newspaper.

No, it's a bit different I think...Asiago
Dec 18, 2003 1:59 PM
The copy for your mom, or tape for your viewing later, or copy to protect the original differ greatly from posting an article on a public message board. And the difference is in that word: "public."

Copyright notices almost always contain the words "public distribution" or something similar. That is the difference. Posting the article here on the website is public distribution. Making a copy of an article and sending it to your mom is not.

No, it's a bit different I think...lc21998
Dec 18, 2003 4:44 PM
Copyright notices actually contain just (c) and the year. In fact, they are completely unnecessary nowadays. (Under the statute, things are copyrighted even if the notice is left off.)

The "public distribution" issue is just another way of rephrasing the "fair use" issue. It usually comes up in connection with songs on the radio. That's why stores, for example, can't (or at least shouldn't) just play the radio for all their shoppers. That's a "public performance," which requires permission and that permission is not granted under the ASCAP licenses that radio stations get for their music.
I can't define "distribute", but I know it when I see it. (nm)53T
Dec 18, 2003 10:48 AM
What would happen if ...djg
Dec 18, 2003 3:11 PM
Well, for one thing, that would make two websites with the contents of the Washington Post each day. Yours, and I'm guessing you wouldn't get quite as many hits.

The official one has ads, btw, but it's otherwise free for anyone who wants to browse it or copy articles. They have their own print function too. Now if you started selling ads, they might come after you. Otherwise ...
Tremendous accomplishment by Ms. LyonDale Brigham
Dec 18, 2003 1:03 PM
It's hard to describe how brutal PBP is to those who have never ridden more than 200 miles in a day. Let me say that I think it's very hard. PBP is the hardest event I've ever done in over three decades of cycling, which include a half-dozen years in the 1-2-Pro road race trenches.

I've done PBP twice, both times much slower than Ms. Lyon (81 and 83 hours vs. her 55 hour time), and both times with support at the controles (checkpoints). This year, I rode it as part of a quartet from my town, which included a current Cat. 1 road racer in his late twenties. He also said it was the hardest thing he's ever done.

Ms. Lyon finished this year's PBP more than a full day (26+ hours) ahead of us, and, unlike us wussies, without any outside support. Just to put it into bite-size perspective, she rode about 330 miles a day for two and one-third days. I'm in awe of her. She is definitely "all that" and more.

Dale "Not Worthy To Be In Ms. Lyon's Presence"
yes she is the Energizer bunnycyclopathic
Dec 18, 2003 1:43 PM
she isn't fast but just keeps going. Doubt she got more then 1.5hr of sleep (opposing to my 46hr on bike/30hr off lets-tour-and-see-the-country record). Article doesn't mention but she set record time twice on BMB, which is probably even harder then PBP. And no, I don't awe her; I like myself too much to suffer as much.


PS small correction: she rode with a couple New England friends for most of the ride. However she had no control support, she pulled her share and she hadn't been paced as some other top female finishers.
I'm in Awe, not EnvyDale Brigham
Dec 18, 2003 2:42 PM
Cyclo, I keep trying to figure out how to make PBP easier, not harder. I can't imagine getting by on less sleep or time off the bike than our group had. And I doubt I'd want to ride much faster than our typical 25 kph average pace from controle to controle. I'll leave that to the hard men and women. In short, Melinda's a beast!

You both rode faster and finished faster than we did, by my calculations. Congrats!


P.S. I hope to do BMB someday. It's on my list.
re: I'm neither in Awe, nor Envycyclopathic
Dec 18, 2003 3:34 PM
BMB is in a way easier then PBP and it is harder at the same time. Why easier? first it is only 739mi vs 766, fewer climbs and last 80mi is actually downhill, not uphill like in PBP. Most important you don't loose as much time at those darn checkpoints!

Why harder? well it has more vertical climbing, and climbs tend to be much longer. I haven't needed anything below 42/25 on PBP and I'll need lower gear then that on Middlebury Gap for sure. Fewer people to draft on, course isn't marked (with exception of coming in/out Boston), good cue sheet (PBP cue sheet is useless), you get idea. And the best, if you don't feel like riding 1200km randonnee you can do quad centuries, 4 centuries in 4 days: you see most of BMB, and make it enjoable.


PS I can ride faster but I don't wanna suffer, this is not what I ride for. I've done 200km in 7hr and 400km in 15:20 w/o dedicated training. I spoke to guy Melinda rode with, and he had to stop b/c hallucinations. This is not my idea of fun, I'm neither in awe nor envy.
Cyclopathic, you both encourage and scare me from BMB.Dale Brigham
Dec 18, 2003 8:57 PM
I guess that's as it should be. These events are both wonderful and terrible, at the same time. I have matched your 200 km and 400 km times, and I also have no desire to extend my suffering into another level.

I hope we have the opportunity to ride together sometime, CP. All the Best to you and yours in this Holiday Season.