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Monique Hanley, awesome! and a mystery from Saris sorted out etc

by Carl Brewer last modified 2007-06-18 21:03

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 :

Hello Carl,

I'm sorry, but unfortunately, we have discontinued our Electronic
trainer line. We are no longer manufacturing this product.


Maggie Walz
Customer Service Representative
Saris Cycling Group

-----Original Message-----
From: Carl Brewer []
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.

2007 De Bortoli Tour

Posted by nick at 2007-06-19 00:58
Hi please see our general letter from the BBN exec. If anyone should have any questions, please feel free to call me on 0419 101 572.

Re: De Bortoli Tour 2007

Blackburn Cycling Club would like to thank volunteers and riders for participating in the 2007 De Bortoli Tour.

Overall the Tour was a huge success with no rider incidents involving traffic or police, increased rider participation, newspaper coverage, film footage, and a dinner with Phil Anderson as guest speaker.

By all accounts riders enjoyed the safely run event with full traffic management for the three stages and fully supported with lead and follow vehicles and spares support cars. The tour is our fourth and given the scenery and the multiple stages on a tough renowned hilly course, we believe the Tour provides a great experience for riders who aspire to developing and improving their road racing skills.

There were however, clearly, some problems with the posting of results and overall general classification. As a big part of a timed tour is knowing where you are from stage to stage so you can plan tactics and ride to your best advantage, it is a shame that we were unable to provide the results during the race as was planned. We apologise to all riders concerned. We did our best and unfortunately that was not good enough.

Sadly people, often only remember and dwell on the negatives rather than the positives, and we would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the short comings in our tour but put them into perspective of the overall race.

There were many positives, including the very first opportunity for a teams stage race in the Victorian open series, and the dinner with Phil Anderson; not to mention the overall running of the tour, which was almost without flaw and we heartily congratulate our team of hard working and dedicated volunteers who gave up their whole weekend to provide cyclists with a safely run, well serviced, and properly organised race.

Organising a Tour is a huge undertaking and unfortunately we had our share of technical problems over the weekend, which let down the overall effort of the Blackburn volunteer group.

I, and a few others worked tirelessly over the weekend to solve them. We had little sleep and were up till very late on Saturday night, doing our best to fix the issue but unfortunately our efforts did not pay off to provide you with the timely results that you needed.

Again, we apologise for any inconvenience caused. We assure you that our technical problems have been resolved and based on our team de-briefing on 9th May, we have a long list of learning outcomes which will form the basis for organising an even better 2008 Tour.

Sometimes with bike races things can go wrong and we had our share of problems. But just as disappointing was the behaviour of some cyclists towards our volunteers, some of which were abused. This was most disappointing and we do ask that all riders understand that such bike races depend on volunteers, so please at all times treat all volunteers with respect and courtesy. It wasn't their fault. As President I take full responsibility.

Please accept my sincere apologies. On behalf of the Blackburn Cycling Club and the Blackburn Committee I am truly sorry and we hope to see you soon at the next major Blackburn event, which of course is the Doherty Tour on the 17th-18th November 2007, and, as a points based tour, rest assured there is no likelihood of the same problems occurring again in race results.

John Nicholson
Blackburn President

If you have any concerns or questions regarding this email, please do not hesitate to call our club publicity officer Nick Bird on 0419 101 572.


Posted by Carl Brewer at 2007-06-19 03:27
This is exactly what Nicko needed to do. Thankyou John.

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