Thursday, April 27, 2006

Style Man Insults Triathletes

I just got my latest issue of Bicyling magazine, which I read cover to cover. I love drooling over the bikes and reading all the tips, although I do find it a bit "male" oriented (too many sexist comments about hot chicks). Maybe I'm just sensitive, but being female in an already male-dominated sport (not to mention my career), I'm very tuned in to those things. But I digress... I was so disappointed when I read this months column of "Style Man" (who "knows everything and knows it"). I realize he offends everyone, and his comments are just ridiculous. He gives his two cents (which aren't worth a damn) about how to dress and how your bike should look and your image on the bike. If you really care about that stuff, you're better off spending your money on a fancy Porsche and getting it over with. But there are always a few of those overly concerned with image in every sport. The whole thing is very silly, and I realize you're not supposed to take it seriously.

But this month, he takes it too far:

This was the question:
"I see a lot of Ironman triathlon competitors wearing arm warmers
with sleeveless tops, leaving their shoulders bare. Thoughts?"
And his response:
"You're asking for a style ruling on people who can't turn a corner
without crashing, who desecate handmade carbon-fiber frames with
$1.33 bits of matlodextrin, and who piss in their shorts because they
lack refinement, persepective, and handling ability? Get on your knees
and plead for your life. If Fausto spares you, never get on another bike
with a seat angle sharper than 72.5 degrees."
Maybe I'm being overly sensitive, but this just made me angry. I'm a triathlete (sort of), and I read Bicycling. Aren't I a bicyclist too? Why do triathletes get such a bad rap when it comes to their biking skills? They can bike just as hard as the next guy. What's the deal? I'm sick of triathletes being criticized as quasi-cyclists. Maybe these cyclists are just jealous b/c they would sink like a stone in the water and couldn't run to save their life. Thoughts?


Ellie said...

Wow. I've read some of his columns but missed this issue of Bicycling. I think he's being a jerk on this one. Mostly I think his "style advice" is tongue-in-cheek, shot with hyperbole and a grain of salt. But this one goes too far. I agree with you. Sometimes bikers (especially roadies) think they're the only athletes out there. I wanna see a just-biker swim two-and-a-half miles, ride 112 without stopping (even if it means peeing on the fly) and then run a marathon. We'll see what separates the wheat from the chaff.

bunnygirl said...

I agree he went a bit far this time.

I don't mind when roadies make fun of us legitmately. (Still puzzling over what's so darn funny about aerobars, but whatever.)

But when you consider that we do what we do AND don't get to draft, one has to wonder how we got such a bad rep. Not to mention that you can't read Velonews without seeing notice of some pro cyclist crashing in some horrific way. How often do you see that in Triathlete mag, hm?

So what's with the "triathletes can't control their bikes" thing?

Style Guy should go back to mocking our aerobars and outfits, IMO. ;)

Mon said...

id think you are more of an athlete if you have to do 3 types, vs just acing the 1!

William said...

Well, having both perspectives, most roadies feel tri's have fugly moose antlers on their bikes and usually can't climb worth beans. They also can't safely group ride.

Roadies are snobby about the european heritabe of cycling. There is a certain amount of civilization to road riding and tri riders stomp all over that.

To me it seems like Road riding is like Grand Prix racing and Tri is like the Daytona 500. Thats the perception out there anyway.

Great post!!!!!!!!

P.S. - road riders fall a lot because they race a lot more often, farther and the races last many days. They also ride in huge groups at 40-50 km/h and there are corners. I know many triathletes fall, but not too many people follow that sport.

jessie_tri_mn said...

Being a runner and swimmer turned triathlete, I've continously felt like a poser out there on the bike!

What I find even more interesting is when out for a run, only runners will give you the "nod" while on a bike only cyclists will give you that "nod". Although, I do have to say that many roadies are snooty no matter what!

bjs o^o said...

Great minds talk about ideas. Average minds talk about events. Simple minds talk about people. Not hard to see where Style Guy fits.

jp said...

well said bjs.

I read that issue of Bicycling on a recent plane flight. I actually laughed when i read that column because I've ridden in a sleeveless top w/arm warmers and taped powergels to my bike frame. Never peed on my bike though.

I think its meant to be taken with a grain of salt and a chuckle, sort of like the style guy in GQ (if you've ever read that one).

Nytro said...

someone needs to write in and remind that guy that his boy lance started out as a triathlete.