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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Catching up

Just catching up on cycling headlines from the past few days. A couple of them reference the Tour of Missouri, so here goes:

TOUR OF AMERICA ORGANIZER SPEAKS OUT: British-based Cycling Weekly did an interview with Frank Arokiasamy, the Malaysian-born, U.S.-based businessman attempting to put together the ambitious Tour of America race. Arokiasamy still thinks he can get UCI approval for a 2008 ride, find sponsors and offer $1 million to the winner. Cycling Weekly asked him about the fact his proposed September race would conflict with the Tour of Missouri:
Q: Your proposed dates also clash with the new Tour of Missouri, which was very successful last year. In terms of goodwill and PR, it's not a great move is it?

A: Not at all. I don't think it's a good move, but in the big picture we don't have a choice. You can't put a race as big as this on the whole sporting calendar and not step on some toes. I regret that deeply. I'd like to talk to the people at the Tour of Missouri so that everyone can exist and complement each other and co-exist. When you want to do something big, you have no choice but to step on some toes. Tell me when there is a spot on the calendar when it doesn't clash. If someone can do that, please tell me.
The conflict not only involves overlapping dates, but the fact Tour of America would have stages in the Show-Me State at the same time as Tour of Missouri.

DAN SCHMATZ MOVES ON: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch did a story about Dan Schmatz, the St. Louis-area native who gained notoriety when he broke his arm after hitting an armadillo during the second stage of the 2007 Tour of Missouri.

Since then, Schmatz has left pro racing, but he returned to his second home in Colorado with a renewed sense of purpose, the Post-Dispatch reported. Schmatz has started a new career in real estate management and is passing on his racing expertise as director of the THF Realty Cycling Team, an amateur team that plans to participate in 10 to 15 U.S. races this year.

To mark the change in his life, Schmatz also has created a new version of his blog, Your Bike Sucks.

ILLINOIS 3-FEET LAW: In their roundups of new laws that took effect Jan. 1, most daily papers in Illinois only gave a sentence or two to the new law that requires motorists to give at least 3 feet of clearance when passing a bicyclists. But there were a couple of papers that took it a step further.

The Aurora Beacon News did a full story about the new law, and it cited startling statistics: According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were nearly nine cyclist-motorist accidents per day in the state of Illinois in 2006, with the vast majority of them taking place in Chicago. In 2006, 26 cyclists were killed in road accidents in Illinois.

The Kane County Chronicle, which serves some of Chicago's suburbs, also wrote about the law.

BIKE SEX CHANGE: My cycling friends Jody and Arlene may consider this sacrilege, but San Francisco Chronicle columnist David Curran recently wrote about how he turned his daughter's pink bicycle into a more masculine silver.

Here's how Curran described the original appearance of the bike, a $30 Magna purchased from Target:
This bike featured three shades of pink. And little pink flowers on top of the pink. You could safely accuse it of pink overkill. In big letters on the chain guard, it said "Starburst." No boy bikes are named Starburst.
How did he perform the sex-change operation? Duct tape. There's a lot more to this story, but I won't spoil the ending here.

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