Author Topic: Cheating - maybe?  (Read 9464 times)

Re: Cheating - maybe?
« Reply #175 on: September 11, 2019, 09:03:53 am »

Long distance cycling has generally been determined by the available technology and media of the time. My heyday was in the photocopier era. We are now in the Blog/Strava era. Where if you're not careful, your enthusiasm to show off can land you in trouble.

Update: The Instagram Era.

Just about all the cycling activity I follow is on Instagram - blogs are great, I still read and write them, but Instagram is where the conversation and blow by blow updates happen. It's the default news feed for those over about 21. And if Instagram is the outside face of a 'scene' then Whatsapp is the tool of choice for the 'insiders' whether that is your clubmates, communities of insiders like dotwarchers, like minded souls or, like on PBP, a bunch of ACME reprobates trying to drag their sorry arses over the line in less than 90 hours (with apologies to Tomsk in recognition of his casually dispatched sub 80). Strava I can live without, Instagram not a chance.

Re: Cheating - maybe?
« Reply #176 on: September 11, 2019, 10:40:13 am »
I got approached by a rider at Brest in 2015. He was some sort of librarian, who archived material about cycling. He said that my films were useful to him, as they captured the essence of the event as he was experiencing it. That was important to him as there was so much 'noise'. His feeling was that became more important as more films were being produced.

I was also approached a while ago by the keeper of the Guardian's archive. I'd filmed a book launch they did on Great Gable in 2007. One of the speakers was the Guardian's librarian, and he's ensured that they've got that video as a record.   I've got to decide what the key points are, and ensure the edit covers them.

Cheating at PBP is an interesting issue. The front group is well observed once it has coalesced, although the profusion of starts means that the early progress of the B,C,D and E groups is more obscure. It's reassuring that riders such as Anco de Jong and Marko Baloh made their way up from group B, as they are obvious candidates to chase a group down.

The women's race is different. That takes place among a larger group of high standard male club riders. In the 24 hour TT the women's record is equivalent to a good club record, while the men's record is 15% or so further. That means that a fast woman has a greater potential to find groups. If she can climb, and follow a wheel, then a good time is within her reach. But away from the main group, riders sleep more, so you can't be sure that they'll want to go leave controls promptly. That's where a non-entered 'ringer', would be useful.

The greater the prestige attaching to a 'win', the greater the incentive to 'cheat'. I've seen the profile of female long distance cycling develop. I got bothered to film Jasmijn Muller's LEJOG in 2017, but she never made it as far as where I live. In 2018 she did, but it was my birthday, and couldn't be bothered.

A bike ride is by nature ephemeral, and while it's going on, it's appropriate that it utilises ephemeral media. I assume there's even a snapchat subtext. But ultimately, the mainstream media is the aim, and not just the online cycling blogs. Fiona Kolbinger achieved that with her TCR win, and that made the national press and the BBC.

Female empowerment is very much part of the zeitgeist. But I live with a fully empowered female, who is a national champion in her field, and a PBP ancienne who has run an LEL control five times.

So I'm left wondering if I can cover PBP 2019 with the material I've got, or if it requires more interviews. I prefer interviews during the course of the event, as they are less prone to 'spin'.

The velomobile win is also interesting, but I'm not a recumbent enthusiast. So I can leave that to someone else to chronicle.