Off yer bikes

thirdcrank
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Off yer bikes

Postby thirdcrank » 14 Jul 2012, 3:49pm

There's a piece in today's Daily Telegraph (which I cannot find online) headed "Wiggins effect" a risk to middle-aged men.

I hope I can mention without spoiling anybody's video watching, that predictably, recent British success in the TdeF has boosted sales of expensive road bikes.

Now, I've been preparing for a spate of threads from first time posters on how to convert £6,000 racing bikes for touring but the article quotes an expert saying people should neither waste money nor exert themselves.

A CTC spkesman is also quoted:-

CTC, the national cycling charity, also warned of the dangers of the Bradley Wiggins effect, saying that there had been a rise in "middle-aged men buying road bikes."

"Bradley Wiggins is an elite athlete and most of us aren't in that kind of physical condition...."


Anybody know a cure for a dropped jaw? At least, they can't be accused of opportunistic exploitation of the BCF's success.

reohn2
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Re: Off yer bikes

Postby reohn2 » 14 Jul 2012, 7:21pm

Alleast there should be a spate good as new CF road bikes in Sky colours in the coming months :roll:
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gaz
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Re: Off yer bikes

Postby gaz » 14 Jul 2012, 7:27pm

Although I think we can probably rule out the weather as a causal factor of an increase in bike sales this summer, I wonder who decided that sales of expensive road bikes have been boosted by Britich success in the TdeF. Even if expensive bike sales are up is there really any causal link?

For instance when Daley Thompson won Gold at the 1980 and 1984 Olympics, was there a corresponding rise in the number of middle-aged men buying vaulting poles, discus and javelins?

Did sales of skis increase during the 1988 Winter Olymipcs and the rise to fame, if not gold, of Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards?


Anyway if these middle aged men are buying BSOs and planning to ride them as if they were Wiggins then a health warning is probably in order. :wink:
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thirdcrank
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Re: Off yer bikes

Postby thirdcrank » 14 Jul 2012, 8:32pm

It seems to me that the comment about Wiggins being an elite athlete and most of us not being in that kind of physical condition could have been made by the greater part of the TdeF field in a post-stage interview; IMO it's inappropriate in this context.

Beyond that, it seems to me that a good opportunity to plug cycling has been lost, although I've no idea of the full text of what the CTC spokesperson said.

It's possible to make good use of the press without being some sort of slimy party political spin doctor. I'd suggest the first rule is to be prepared for the inevitable increase in queries from the general (ie non-sports, non-cycling) media looking for a different angle. Then have some good stuff ready: they have pages to fill with short deadlines so there's a mutual advantage here. There's no obligation on anybody to publish what you give them, of course, but telling them is the only way to have a chance. A grumpy old git, AKA your obedient servant would have been looking at something like this as an answer to a media query like the one behind that article:-

We're really pleased to see the the success of our riders in the Tour de France. (Perhaps insert: the well-known commentator Phil Liggett was a popular CTC President.) This great riding is just one of the many things which has contributed to the growing popularity of cycling. Racing bikes are now designed purely with racing in mind, in much the same way as F1 racing cars, but without any of the emissions. This means they may not be the best choice for other forms of cycling. We'd recommend that anybody buying a bike should think about the type of cycling they want it for and then tell the people in the shop. By becoming members of the CTC, cyclists ... (get a brazen plug in here for technical advice, rides, whatever you like, with loads of detail included in "Notes to editors." )


And on the health issue:

Cycling is an excellent form of exercise (include any amount of data you like in "Notes to Editors" added as footnotes.) As with all exercise, we'd advise people to take it steady at first. Anybody with health concerns should consult their doctor.


Emphasise the positives: cycling has plenty going for it. :D

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gaz
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Re: Off yer bikes

Postby gaz » 14 Jul 2012, 8:57pm

thirdcrank wrote:... A CTC spkesman is also quoted:-

CTC, the national cycling charity, also warned of the dangers of the Bradley Wiggins effect, saying that there had been a rise in "middle-aged men buying road bikes."

"Bradley Wiggins is an elite athlete and most of us aren't in that kind of physical condition...."
....


thirdcrank wrote:Beyond that, it seems to me that a good opportunity to plug cycling has been lost, although I've no idea of the full text of what the CTC spokesperson said.


I've no idea of the full text either, perhaps it said:-

CTC, the national cycling charity, also warned of the dangers of the Bradley Wiggins effect, saying that there had been a rise in "middle-aged men buying road bikes", which may not be the best choice for other forms of cycling. We'd recommend that anybody buying a bike should think about the type of cycling they want it for and then tell the people in the shop. By becoming members of the CTC, cyclists ... (get a brazen plug in here for technical advice, rides, whatever you like, with loads of detail included in "Notes to editors." )

"Bradley Wiggins is an elite athlete and most of us aren't in that kind of physical condition...." but cycling is an excellent form of exercise (include any amount of data you like in "Notes to Editors" added as footnotes.) As with all exercise, we'd advise people to take it steady at first. Anybody with health concerns should consult their doctor.


Once you've given out your comments they can easily fall prey to editing, That's Life (I expect you know what I'm referring to :wink: ).
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thirdcrank
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Re: Off yer bikes

Postby thirdcrank » 14 Jul 2012, 9:37pm

gaz wrote: ... Once you've given out your comments they can easily fall prey to editing, That's Life (I expect you know what I'm referring to :wink: ).


That's true, but IME apart from the notorious selectivity of quotes from theatrical reviews to use in ads, I feel that the media intentionally distorting stuff - rather than cutting the waffle while preserving the gist - is pretty rare. On the other hand, most reporters, especially from national papers who have no reason to build up local contacts will have no compunction quoting something said as an aside but not specifically agreed as being off the record. ie Trot out a prepared piece and make a couple of asides at your peril, because that's likely to be the interesting bit.

There are some things which are predictable: in general cycling these include pavement cycling, RLJ etc and the MAMIL effect is another. (In competitive cycling, it's inevitably going to include drugs.) In fact, if there's a recognised abbreviation or an acronym, it's got to be anticipated as a subject for questions.

I'm probably being over-sensitive, but it seems to me that sporting success has been turned round to implied ridicule of sad wannabees when, with a bit of preparation, most people are capable of things which amaze non-cyclists.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Off yer bikes

Postby Cunobelin » 15 Jul 2012, 10:13am

The CTC quote makes absolute sense to me!

There is a proven link between overweight middle aged men undertaking exercise they are unused to and precipitating heart attacks.

To me that is what the statement is about, a warning.

Otherwise we are looking at the Daily Mail etc and a "Cycling craze kills middle aged men" style headlines

thirdcrank
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Re: Off yer bikes

Postby thirdcrank » 15 Jul 2012, 11:48am

Cunobelin wrote:The CTC quote makes absolute sense to me!

There is a proven link between overweight middle aged men undertaking exercise they are unused to and precipitating heart attacks.

To me that is what the statement is about, a warning.

Otherwise we are looking at the Daily Mail etc and a "Cycling craze kills middle aged men" style headlines


That's obviously true but as I said in my OP:

I've been preparing for a spate of threads from first time posters on how to convert £6,000 racing bikes for touring but the article quotes an expert saying people should neither waste money nor exert themselves.


In context, the CTC comment just seemed to support the bit I've now highlighted. (I wish I could link to the article.)

The underlying message here was Cycling craze is going to kill middle aged men.

I've often posted that a bike suitable for riding the TdeF is not going to be right for us mere mortals and I'd not want anybody to learn about mortality the hard way but we're supposed to be promoting cycling, not putting people off.

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Re: Off yer bikes

Postby hexhome » 15 Jul 2012, 11:52am

I am not certain that such evidence is more than anecdotal. Most recent publicity has been on fit young men having heart attacks whilst doing regular exercise. As far as I am aware, exertion is not dangerous unless obvious signs of stress are ignored. It may well be that overweight middle aged men were about to have a heart attack anyway! Therefore, as one of their number, I shall continue to cycle vigorously!

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meic
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Re: Off yer bikes

Postby meic » 15 Jul 2012, 11:56am

It does seem like a road to nowhere.

People who are at risk of heart failure because of an unhealthy lifestyle are recommended to continue that lifestyle as starting to remedy it may temporarily increase their chances of an attack, yet will reduce it in the long run.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Off yer bikes

Postby thirdcrank » 15 Jul 2012, 1:51pm

As a penance for not being able to link, I've typed it in full:

'Wiggins effect' a risk to middle-aged men
By Rosa Silverman

The success of the British cyclist Bradley Wiggins in the Tour de France has led to a surge of interest in the sport among people watching from ther armchairs at home.

But professionals have issued a warning to those who have been inspired to buy expensive bicycles in an attempt to mimic the tour leader. Prosperous middle-aged men who want to emulate Wiggins are told to save their money and not to over-exert themselves.

Noel Germishulzen, a cycling trainer based in London, said amateurs were were often buying the wrong bikes and spending thousands of pounds unnecessarily. "Watching something like the Tour de France does definitely sway your purchase if you see someone winning on a particular bike," he said.

But he argued: " You could upgrade from a £500 entrance-level bike to a lighter bike costing £3,000, but if you just lost a bit of weight yourself it would have a similar effect and cost you far less.

"It's not about the bike. Weight loss and basic conditioning, improving your positioning on the bike, is a massive help."

CTC, the national cycling charity, also warned of the dangers of the Bradley Wiggins effect, saying that there had been a rise in "middle-aged men buying road bikes."

"Bradley Wiggins is an elite athlete and most of us aren't in that kind of physical condition," said a spokesman.

Daily Telegraph 14 July 2012


The article was illustrated with a mug-shot of Wiggo, captioned
Bradley Wiggins' Tour de France success has led armchair fans to buy bikes that could damage their health.


Nothing in Noel Germishulzen's comments that would be out of place on here - it's the CTC spokesman I'm concerned about. It's their comment that justifies the scaremongering headline. IMO.

Of course, my suggested wording - recommending getting advice from a shop - would be unsuitable for a CTC spokeman as the "CTC Shop" is heavily involved in the internet sales of ...er ... high-end road bikes ...........................

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Re: Off yer bikes

Postby Pete Owens » 16 Jul 2012, 12:24am

If you take out the surrounding bits written by the Telegraph hack, there is absolutely nothing to take issue with in the direct quotes attributed to the anonymous CTC spokesman (or indeed anyone else).

The first noted an increase in:
"middle aged men buying road bikes"
An odd thing to start commenting on - (a positive comment and certainly not a warning) - but presumably the DT hack is leading the conversation towards the preferred story.
The second:
"Bradley Wiggins is an elite athlete and most of us aren't in that kind of physical condition"
is a simple statement of fact - and probably applies to most of the field actually competing in the TdF.
Whether you take issue with it depends on what question was asked.
I somehow doubt the question was "What advice would you give a middle aged man considering nipping to the local shops?"

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CJ
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Re: Off yer bikes

Postby CJ » 21 Jul 2012, 6:19pm

As far as I know I was not the mystery CTC spokesman, but I might have been. Those phrases could well form part of a discussion with a journalist claiming to be seeking advice about what sort of bike to buy, but I don't recall speaking to any Rosa Silverman.

Quotes out of context is the oldest trick in the journalists book. There's not much you can do about it, especially when the journalist does not name their source.

On the other hand, it's possible Rosa Silverman wrote a much longer and well balanced article, that has been cut down by a sub-editor to fit a smaller space - and in the process given an entertaining twist. 'Cycling is Bad For You' stories are like 'Man Bites Dog', so much more intriguing than the usual stuff about healthy exercise. I am sure it was much appreciated by a large section of the Telegraph's readership, who consider cycling beneath their dignity, but are slightly worried by the resurgence of this previously denigrated and decidedly un-British activity!
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thirdcrank
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Re: Off yer bikes

Postby thirdcrank » 22 Jul 2012, 1:07pm

Not for the first time in my life, I'm in a minority of one so I'll get back in my corner - where, for the last three weeks I've been spending a lot more time than usual developing square eyes. Yesterday afternoon, for the first time, instead of skipping theads, I watched it live, ads and all. I see that British Cycling is running ads to attract and welcome newcomers. I saw an interview with "team principal" David Brailsford who allowed himself a smile, when others would have got giddy. He made plenty of the "attracting newcomers" theme so from the wider cycling perspective, my concerns are misplaced.

Kelloggs or somebody ran "Hoy, on your bike" ads after the last Olympics and we didn't get a spate of threads about fitting panniers on track bikes. :wink:

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Re: Off yer bikes

Postby rower40 » 24 Jul 2012, 8:52am

gaz wrote:Although I think we can probably rule out the weather as a causal factor of an increase in bike sales this summer, ...


Yebbut...
If you're going to buy a bike, and the weather's bad, then surely it makes sense to buy as fast a bike as possible, to get out of the rain in shortest time?

I'll get my (waterproof) coat.
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