Monique Hanley, awesome! and a mystery from Saris sorted out etc
Monnas wins the RAAM, Saris gets back to me, and the De Bortoli Tour fallout
Good news first. Monique Hanley, former Warragul club member, defected to Blackburn, partner of Simon Quick and state level trackie, has just completed the RAAM (Race Across America). The RAAM is a bike race that crosses the USA. It's some 3000 miles or so (around 5000km). An interesting type of race for a track rider to even contemplate. Finishing this on its own would be a lifetime achievement, but it's made even more inspirational by the fact that Monnas is a type 1 diabetic, rode in a team made up of type 1 diabetics, and they won their division. You can read all about it here. On behalf of us all, Monnas, awesome ride. Well done.
A few weeks ago at Cycle Science we got a new spin trainer in from Cyclops - nothing exciting, just a Fluid 2 (IMO one of the best spin trainers, that's why I bought one), but on the box there was a picture of an 'electro pro' which seemed to be some sort of power meter combination - similar to the Tacx trainers. I googled, found nothing, I called Trek (Aust distributor for Cyclops/Saris), they said they'd find out about it, I got sick of waiting, and I emailed Saris/Cyclops myself. It turns out it's vapour :
I'm sorry, but unfortunately, we have discontinued our Electronic
trainer line. We are no longer manufacturing this product.
Customer Service Representative
Saris Cycling Group
From: Carl Brewer [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, June 15, 2007 12:08 AM
To: Saris Products Email
Subject: cyclops "electro pro"?
We have a Cyclops Fluid 2 trainer here at an LBS I work at, and on the
box is a picture of an "electro pro", which appears to be a trainer with
a builtin power meter. This has some interest to me as a coach for a
training tool. We haven't been able to find any further information on
this anywhere though.
Does the product exist anywhere other than on this box? Google has no
record of it, there's nothing on the Saris website and the local Saris
distributor (Trek Australia) knows nothing about it either.
Poo. It looked interesting on the box, and the Tacx power meter trainers top out at 999 watts, which is great for enduros, but for doing sprint strength work isn't enough. I'm still waiting on the Powertap SL 2.4 to come back, and I miss my watts, especially now I have a copy of CyclingPeaks WKO+, and I want to use it. Saris do make a power meter trainer, but it's a whole excercise bike thingo and very expensive, not something I can cart to track races and spin classes without needing a station wagon and a trolley.
Finally, bad news ... of a sort. I get around, and I keep my ears open (and, my mouth, too often!), it's very upsetting to hear and read so many people bagging the De Bortoli Tour, but they are. I overheard a conversation at DISC last Thursday about how bad the DB Tour was (the results, of course ...) and the same theme runs through emails on Hawthorn's Bicigaga mailing list, chat sites on the web etc. It's a great shame. I had a conversation with Tabatha Cole about it, and expressed that the club needs to make some steps to address the issue. I did speak to the people at DISC who were bagging the DB Tour, and expressed my dismay at their negative attitude, but they were right, and when they said 'yeah, but we get it right every year with our tour (3 day tour, northern combine)', there was nothing I could say except that everyone did their best at the time.
We can't fix what went wrong at the time, but we can fix some things (there's still no breakdown of the prizemoney available, etc), and IMO we as a club need to very honestly, completely and openly explain what went wrong, why, and how we will prevent it happening again. This needs to be made public on both the club website and the De Bortoli tour site, and the longer it's left undone, the less benefit it will have in terms of fixing some of the damage that the clubs reputation has taken. Nicko's paragraph wasn't sufficient, I think. When club members who volunteer to help run these events overhear this sort of thing it's demoralising and serves to demotivate them to help out in future. We want to be part of a team that delivers and has a reputation for excellence, not "the club that stuffs things up". If the DB Tour is just too big for us as a club to run successfully, then we need to look very hard at if we want to run it at all.
Other tours do not have the same problems we've had - the Colleraine Tour, the 3 day tour etc, they have results up quickly enough to be useful to competitors. I'm sick of hearing people bagging BBN as the club that stuffs things up, but that won't stop until we look them in the eye, accept that we got it wrong, and explain what went wrong and how we will fix it in future. We as a club run many things very well, but the De Bortoli Tour (and the 1:20 ITT from two years ago when we also got the timing wrong) - these big things get noticed. There was a club meeting that (I asume) addressed a lot of the Tour issues, last week. What's happened since? Nicko, as president, the buck stops at you. Communicate with the club members, please.