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Signs of the Tour de France

Posted by on June 30th, 2010 at 10:24 am

We’re just a few days away from the start of the 2010 Tour de France and signs of the race have already popped up in downtown Portland.

The window of Bike Gallery’s store on SW 10th and Salmon features some cool drawings of Tour de France legends. The art was created by Bike Gallery’s on-staff artist Matt Cardinal (who also happens to be co-owner of of local custom bike brand Signal Cycles). I think I know all but one of them. Can you name them all?

(Drawings by Matt Cardinal)

With Lance Armstrong announcing this will be his last ride, the continuing doping sagas, and interest in pro racing at a high point in the U.S., I have a feeling this year’s Tour will be one of the biggest ever (not to mention that Bend, Oregon resident Chris Horner will be riding with Lance).

My dream is that some day bike racing has the equivalent of the World Cup of Soccer; but until then, the Tour is the biggest thing we’ve got.

On that note, there will be a lot of local viewing locations. I’m working on a getting a complete list together. If you are hosting Tour de France viewing parties and/or related events in Portland, please drop us a line so we can include the information in our round up.

Allez!

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  • david....no! the other one June 30, 2010 at 10:33 am

    My hope would be that “The Tour” would become Americanized. As popular as Nascar, Football(the NFL kind) and World Cup Soccor. That cycling events would be televised on broadcast tv and every child would want to emulate cycling riders much as they do basketball and football or baseball now. A guy can dream.

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  • jeff June 30, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Oh Marco, we miss you.

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  • A.K. June 30, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I just hate that Comcast won’t put the full stages on their “On Demand” service. I don’t own a DVR on purpose, as the last time I had one, my TV viewing went from something like 30 minutes – 1 hour per day to several hours per day, and I didn’t like that.

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  • commuter June 30, 2010 at 11:09 am

    The first two are of Marco Pantani, followed by Eddy Merckx in the third. Fourth is of Lance Armstrong and Jan Ulrich and the final drawing is probably Bernard Hinault although it doesn’t look quite right.

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  • Brian E June 30, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Last drawing, Initials are S.K.

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  • matt June 30, 2010 at 11:55 am

    It’s Bernard. He’s wearing the rainbow jersey, so I think this is from the 1981 Tour. Thanks for posting the pictures Johnathan!

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  • BURR June 30, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    yawn.

    bicycle racing does exacly zero to improve conditions for cyclists on the streets in USA, and it could be argued that conflating the importance of bicycle racing actually does more harm than good.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 30, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    BURR,

    wow. I don’t think I’ve disagreed more with anything you’ve ever typed in your many years commenting here.

    who says everything done on a bike in america has to “improve conditions for cyclists on the streets”?

    Do you think NASCAR has helped car culture penetrate the american psyche? I’d say it has.

    As for more harm the good, the same can be argued for a variety of other aspects of our “bike culture”… like let’s say, for instance, critical mass? but I won’t go there right now.

    thanks.

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  • shannon June 30, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    These are great.
    The ribbons are a nice touch.

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  • Rich June 30, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Big @ss yawn to BURR.

    I’m always torn between watching updates/results at the office or waiting to catch on the DVR when I get home.

    Go Lance Go!

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  • Brad June 30, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Really, BURR?

    Lance Armstrong, love him or hate him, has inspired millions of Americans to ride bikes. Do we know him because he is an inspirational athletic figure or because he is a humorless policy wonk screaming about alternative transportation equity? Why do people support Livestrong and donate to cancer research? Because Mr. Armstrong rides a bakfiets,hangs out at Stumptown, and blogs about utility bikes?

    Bike racing, specifically the TdF exploits of Armstrong, spurred the incredible growth of the bike industry and an explosion of locally owned bike shops in this country over the past decade. Many of those shops cater to commuters as well as racers and create jobs for cycling enthusiasts. The component and frame technology developed for racing has trickled down to create lighter bikes that are easier and more fun for regular folks to ride hence, they consider leading a bike focused lifestyle.

    I know, I know…if it isn’t a fourth hand battered (skillfully curated to look that crappy!) fixie then it just ain’t real. Lycra, gears and Cytomax are bad, skinny jeans, Marlboros, and a lack of brakes are good.

    Alright, BURR. I guess that we won’t see you down at St. Honore over the next three weeks. (C’mon now – Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin will turn your frown upside down!)

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  • BURR June 30, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Jonathan, your NASCAR analogy just proves my point.

    Sure, NASCAR has helped car culture penetrate American society, but certainly not in a good way. Do you really think NASCAR fans actually drive more carefully around cyclists on the street? I’d say the answer is probably a resounding NO.

    What does bicycle racing really do for cycling in the US?

    IMO, (1) it generates a bunch of stories about how bicycle racers are all dopers and cheaters; (2) it sells a bunch of completely impractical high end racing bikes for Trek and few other major manufacturers; (3) it creates a culture of amateur racer boys who terrorize average cyclists and pedestrians on the Hawthorne Bridge, the Springwater Trail and other places because they ride too fast for conditions and pass too closely without warning; and (4) it reinforces the stereotype of cyclists as gay aliens in lycra.

    Meh.

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  • Charley June 30, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Hey BURR,
    If it’s that boring to you, don’t take the time to flame it to death. You’re wasting your own time, remember!
    Charley

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  • BURR June 30, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Here’s a nice fresh post at Copenhagenize.com that supports and reinforces my position on this:

    http://www.copenhagenize.com/2010/06/lycra-makes-you-act-illegally.html

    The negative behaviour reinforcement the Tour has on cyclists that Mikael’s post talks about may be rare in Copenhagen, but it certainly isn’t in the US.

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  • carlos June 30, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Viva Contador!

    The ego maniac has had his day in the sun, let’s all move on.

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  • jeff June 30, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    @BURR

    What do bike messengers really do for cycling in the US? After all, it creates a culture of fixie hipsters who don’t know how to handle their machines, terrorizing average cyclists and pedestrians as they blah, blah, blah.

    I do find your comment pretty weird, because I find myself agreeing with your posts most of the time; I think they are usually some of the most insightful on BP.

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  • M Robert June 30, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    The bottom picture is Steven Roche, both hands on the brake hoods.

    I love the Bike Gallery downtown store. They’re really progressive and do a lot of very low cost repairs for low income people. I’ve seen kindness there that makes me feel awesome about the bike community.

    Joan and Andrew are the best. Thanks for hosting the tour again. I’ll be certain to bribe them with vegan doughnuts.

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  • BURR June 30, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    I’m not necessarily a supporter of bike messenger or fixie culture either, but if I had to choose, I’d say the lance wannabes and racer boys are a much more serious problem than fixie riders in this regard.

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  • jeff June 30, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Well I guess my point is that folks get into cycling in many different ways, whether it’s from watching the Tour or from the fixie culture or from their coworkers commuting to work every day in the rain. They all suck at first because it takes practice to ride smartly and safely. I don’t think any of those avenues are worse than the other. A few folks I work with have been getting into commuting lately, wouldn’t touch a pair of Lycra shorts with a ten foot pole, and don’t care a wiff about bike racing (actually, they often actively tease it). Guess what? When I’ve ridden to lunch with them they exhibit some pretty terrible behavior. But they are on the bike, they are learning, they are getting better, and they love it. Just like the “Lance wannabies” as you call them.

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  • jocko June 30, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Burr, come out and try racing its actually fun most folks are nice, and most of them are not terrorizing people on the hawthorne, they are driving their subarus home! All jokes aside, getting into racing will make you a safer more respectful cyclist, as you will get your competition fix on the course not on the commute. Most dangerous cyclist on cyclist confrontations I have experienced we not with racers most are with young men new to cycling who are “racing” every one home from work. Getting out on the track, road, or single track with other like minded folks really makes the ride home from work seem like really stupid (and pathetic) place to hot dog it. One place Burr and I agree is the passing with out warning. For gods sake people “on your left” is a quick easy way to avoid a painful and embarrassing situation.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 30, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I hear you about the NASCAR analogy BURR. Point taken.

    This debate is worthy of a much more detailed discussion. For me, I think a healthy racing scene in the U.S. is good for biking but it could be much better in terms of having a positive impact on the utility/advocacy world.

    As for Copenhagen. I think they are a great model for infrastructure, but culturally, it’s a different story. We’ve got a much more vibrant and diverse culture for biking here in Portland (and the U.S.) and I think we should celebrate all aspects of it.

    Another thing to keep in mind is how racing fuels the bike industry which fuels a lot of the advocacy in this country (think Bikes Belong). You can argue that Bikes Belong isn’t doing the right things, but for better or for worse in this country, they are the big dogs in terms of advocacy.

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  • Ed June 30, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Où est-ce que je regarde le tour de france au café ou barre?

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  • Jim F June 30, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    “This debate is worthy of a much more detailed discussion.”

    Um, no it’s not. I generally agree with most everything you say Jonathan, But BURR’s post may be the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. I’d comment on it, but this debate is not worthy of any more discussion.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 30, 2010 at 3:54 pm

      Jim F.,

      i disagree. the strong awareness of bike racing in America has had huge implications for the advocacy/utility movement… some good and some bad. There’s also the ongoing discussion about how the racing community and the transportation/advocacy community are not as integrated and coordinated as some would like. Whether you agree with BURR or not, the fact is that the brand of bicycling in America is closely related to speed, spandex and performance. Dismissing BURR’s thoughts is a mistake.

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  • Joey June 30, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    I’m on BURR’s side.

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  • Rich Wilson June 30, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    BURR,

    Anecdotal, but I think Lance-familiarity gets me just a touch more respect from the NASCAR crowd. They all love Lance, even if they have no idea what he does besides beat cancer and ride a bike better than the French. But since there’s one cyclist out there they admire, the mold is broken, and there might be others.

    I’d say the lance wannabes and racer boys are a much more serious problem than fixie riders

    As an ex-racer, I just have to shake my head. Don’t we have to deal with enough animosity from non-cyclists? Get over what my bike looks like. I’m another human being pushing pedals, dealing with the same issues on the roads that you are.

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  • Ermal June 30, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    once again, claudio chiappucci gets completely overlooked

    el diablo deserves a window of his own!

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  • Bagel June 30, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    I agree with Rich (#26), the “serious problem” that BURR refers to is pretty minuscule when compared to the dozen or so folks who join Portland’s population every day (many of which are arriving in SUVs).

    I’m happy to celebrate the diversity of our town’s cycling population, from skinny jeans to zebra print Acqua & Sapone jerseys.

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  • WTF June 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    I’ll speak for myself. I would have not have the interest in bike commuting or generally using bikes as transportation that I currently do if it werent for the Tour de France. That is what inspired me to just ride–which slowly progressed into an acceptable mode of transportation as my skills and confidence grew. Ask average people why they dont commute by bike, and many of them will tell you it is because it is too dangerous. They dont want to be out on the roads with cars. What gets people over that fear and out on their bikes? In my case it wasnt a gaggle of hippies riding naked through Portland–it was my admiration of the skill and fitness of the pro racers. Again, I am speaking only for myself, but I suspect that I am not alone.

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  • KWW June 30, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    I have hopes that TdeF doesn’t turn into this yet again:
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/nondoping-cyclists-finish-tour-de-france,2268/

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  • A.K. June 30, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    WTF #29: Agreed. Though I wouldn’t point to the Tour as “why” I ride, it is certainly the fitness aspect combined with something really fun to do that drives me.

    Growing up, a friend’s dad would ride his bike almost daily after work for fitness, and it certainly showed, as he was in very good shape in comparison to other dads I knew. Now that I’m older, I know people who compete in Iron Man competitions, triathlons, etc. and that is one of my primary sources of motivation. I was never athletic as a kid, so being able to be “good” at something that takes a bit of skill and endurance is also a nice confidence builder.

    I will also commute by bike, go to the store by bike, etc. but it all comes down to the thought process that each time I’m doing this, I’m getting in better shape and becoming a better rider, as well as making a smart transportation choice (but that’s secondary for me).

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  • The Translator June 30, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    This is Portland! You are supposed to ride a bike but not really like it. You do it because you hate something like cars, the CRC, Republicans, BP, or because it makes you trendy or better than others.

    Inspiration? Fun? Hogwash! It’s strictly a political or fashion statement or you aren’t doing it right!

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  • Jerry_W June 30, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    These comments show why there is a Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Swiss and Spanish Tour and NOT a US tour. Too many lycra haters, racer boy haters to support such an enjoyable sport. Keep in mind that those lycra wanna be’s are out there buying equipment from builders like Vanilla, Signal, Chris King, and many of them are putting 3000 to 7000 miles in riding in a year, and enjoying themselves. Here’s to your health advocates in your yellow jackets and baggie rain pants, don’t stroke out.

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  • Anonymous June 30, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Ah…it is Stephen Roche..good catch.

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  • BURR June 30, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    lots of reinforcement here as to why racer boys and sport cyclists suck.

    Shift to Bikes gets way more new cyclists on the streets of Portland with bike fun than the TdF ever did or will.

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  • A.K. June 30, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    I don’t think the point here is which “type” of bike riding gets more people on bikes. We should be happy people are taking to them in such numbers and call it good.

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  • jeff June 30, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    BURR, sorry if we hurt your feelings. See you on the road, have a good ride.

    Sincerely, an occasional racer, longtime commuter, pedalpalooza participant, and all around proponent of humans riding bikes,

    - jeff

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  • The Translator June 30, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Burr, you sound like the type of person that despises anyone or anything that achieves success or some measure of happiness in life. Being fast, having the income to afford nice gear, or actually enjoying the sport side of cycling is some terrible affront to you. Are you conflicted by the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships which combines elements of irreverent bike fun with an elite field of athletes? What about the recent Cirque du Cycling? A great criterium race embedded within a fun bike culture fest must chap your hide since skinny fast folks in lycra took part?

    I’m a racer and, like many other OBRA members, I donate to the BTA, support Shift to Bikes, and frequent Pedalpalooza events because I enjoy all aspects of cycling. We also want safer streets and better legal protections for cyclists. What I and others don’t like are killjoys like you that claim to be bike advocates yet use their energies to drive a wedge between varied bike users if one group doesn’t measure up to your personal ideals or tests of purity.

    So I’ll keep racing and watching the best compete over the cols and cobbles of France. I’ll continue commuting via pedal power. You can continue to wallow in your anger and envy while crusading against all the imagined bike related evils that arouse your contempt.

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  • Zaphod June 30, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    #38 +1 Extremely well put.

    I will be listening to to Phil, Paul & Bobke in the coming days… can’t wait.

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  • wsbob July 1, 2010 at 12:27 am

    There’s good and bad about pro racing. Burr #12, points #1 and #2 is kind of right. Inspired by racing culture, some people, though they’re far removed from any actual race in progress, become very obnoxious on the road. That phenomenon is usually kind of a minor problem though.

    Thing about racing is how it provides people with a great example of what they themselves might do on a more moderate level. Seeing someone working to be a champion, gives them ideas…sets them to wondering what they might do by simply putting the old schwinn through its paces a few times each week.

    I hate the drugs/a.k.a ‘performance enhancement’ aspect of racing. Money rules. That’s one of the ugly things about most pro sports.

    Always want to believe Lance is clean, but it’s entirely possible he just plays the game very well. That apart, as human beings go, he seems to be extraordinarily resilient, and that’s inspiring to people, including myself. Story I always remember Lance telling, is about one of his periods of convalescence. He’s feeling very weak, but gets on the bike and goes at it anyway. Literally…older ladies on their bikes are beating him on little hills, leaving him in the dust, while his muscles are aching. Despite this, in days to come, he keeps going and over time, gradually regains his strength and speed. Calls to mind the famous Winston Churchill quote.

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  • SkidMark July 1, 2010 at 1:31 am

    Racing isn’t the problem, the problem is that some people are inconsiderate jerks.

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  • badger July 1, 2010 at 9:15 am

    If that last sketch is Stephen Roche, Burr is my hero. Roche didn’t race while World Champ due to knee issues, nor did he ever ride for a team sponsored by Le Coq Sportif and Gitane as Hinault did in 1982 while World Champ. The sketch of Lance makes him look fat. As for the cycling sub-cultures, if an individual commutes to work but races on the weekend when not riding around with kids on a bakfiets can the cyclist still ride a fixie to the coffee shop in crack revealing skinny jeans?

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  • chelsea July 1, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Beautiful artwork!

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  • Dan Porter July 1, 2010 at 9:42 am

    SkidMark #41 +1

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  • A.K. July 1, 2010 at 9:48 am

    SkidMark #41:

    Exactly, like the guy I was following two nights ago down NW Couch who was weaving over the entire lane, gently going back and forth, back and forth across the entire thing while traveling at about 8 MPH.

    I’ll leave a description of his bike and attire out, because *it’s not relevant to being a bad/inconsiderate cyclist IMHO*.

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  • ignacious July 1, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Stephen Roche…wrong team. It’s Hinault…look at the “Gitane” on the shorts.

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  • matt July 1, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Look at comment #6 It’s Bernard. I made the drawing.

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  • Brad July 1, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Matt – how big are those and are you selling them after Bike Gallery is done with them?

    Nice work!

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  • matt July 1, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Brad, they are about 6-7′ tall, various widths. We might give them away to interested people on Bike Gallery’s facebook page. Follow the BG on facebook and we’ll “drop” more info toward the end of the month.

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  • Vance Longwell July 2, 2010 at 11:45 am

    49 comments and I wanted to see what could be so interesting about, Le Tour De France, and it’s just a dogpile on BURR? Wha…? For Pete’s sake folks, it’s just an opinion. Plus, BURR makes some interesting points. Oh, and they’re valid too, huh.

    Personally, since Armstrong set the precedence for purchasing Le Tour De France team, and personal, victories, I refuse to spectate. He utterly destroyed that bicycle racing event, and I’ll never watch another one as long as I live.

    His predecessors did it without ‘roids, or a radio, either one. Those of you singing this guy’s praises are supporting a cheater. Get the radios, ‘roids, and helmets out of this event, and then come at BURR again. Until then – yawn AND meh.

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  • Merckxrider July 2, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Bike racing is, I believe, good propaganda for cycling–’Muricans respond positivelyto images of glamour and speed, like it or not.
    And how about taking down the picture of that cokehead Pantani and painting portraits of Greg LeMond and Andy Hampsten–American pro cycling’s two true class acts.

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  • erin g. July 4, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Wow, amazing artwork! Thanks for sharing this, Jonathan. I totally appreciate these kinds of stories, as does the vast majority. I’ll be sure to cruise by Bike Gallery to see the works in person. Such a talented artist, Mr. Cardinal!

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  • are July 5, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    i didn’t read this thread at first because racing holds zero interest for me, but i saw the link over from the more recent story to burr’s comment. not necessarily chapter and verse with burr here, but would say (1) the sport has essentially nothing at all to do with transportational cycling, (2) racer wannabes very often do not identify with transportational cyclists (i.e., they may not be your friend), (2a) a jock on a bike is still a jock, (3) lance has just generated yet a fifth kid (for all you population control freaks) . . .

    and (4) re comment 11 and all this yellow bracelet stuff: the livestrong foundation is merely a conduit to ship money to other 501c3s to whom people might have donated directly. to the extent people have been prompted to give based on lance’s celebrity . . .

    (5) the doping scandal is not over yet.

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  • are July 5, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    all that being said, though, it is true that (as with the indy 500) technology developed for racing does filter down to the lower end consumer. ten speed cassettes. ceramic bearings. carbon fiber front forks.

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  • Rich Wilson July 5, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    racer wannabes very often do not identify with transportational cyclists (i.e., they may not be your friend)

    The problem is, ‘wannabes’ don’t carry around signs. Some of them drive 25 miles with their bikes on their SUVs to go for a ride. And some of us ride to work every day on the same bike that we pretend to race on the weekend.
    Bike racing in and of itself surely is not environmentally friendly. There are more cars and trucks and buses in the Tour de France, by far, than there are bikes. And then you have real racers like Dave Zabriskie founding http://yieldtolife.org/ and Bob Mionske.

    Maybe, just maybe, we should withhold judgement on the lycra cover until we know the person inside.

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  • are July 5, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    i did say “may.” also, zabriskie’s “safety” tips for cyclists endorse the far to right mentality, saying take the lane only as a necessity and only when you are moving the “same speed” as motorists. though to his partial credit, he does say do not pass on the right — but only if you are taking the lane.

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  • Anonymous July 5, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    A jerk on a bike is still a jerk.

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  • Brad July 6, 2010 at 10:57 am

    are – Mr. Zabriskie is pontificating a pragmatic approach to road safety for cyclists especially those in states absolutely lacking in cycling related road laws.

    In Oregon we do have the right to take the lane on paper but drivers don’t always know nor respect it. I, for one, don’t wish to be “dead right” by taking the lane just because I can without regard to real world conditions. The driver receiving a $242 citation and a life insurance payout would be cold comfort to my grieving family.

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  • are July 6, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    taking the lane is a defense against getting right hooked, left hooked, struck by someone coming out a side street from your right, the list goes on. maybe not even a $242 citation, and still no comfort.

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  • nuovorecord July 6, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Great comment (#51) Merckxrider – and a great choice of bike, as well.

    Gonna go out on a limb and guess that the reason that three time Tour Champion Greg LeMond’s absence from BG’s window has something to do with his long feud with Trek, a brand of which BG was one of the earliest sellers. If that’s truly the case, it’s sad. Cause I can’t see Pantani, who won one (tainted) Tour and wasn’t worthy enough to inflate Greg’s sew-ups, being so deified.

    Hampsten, great as he was, never won the Tour.

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  • matt July 6, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    nuovorecord,
    I picked the images based on what I thought was going to look best in the window. I had two Greg Lemond images that I considered, but they weren’t dynamic enough to make the cut. I also really wanted to include Miguel Indurain, but just couldn’t find the right image. As for Marco, he made the tour fun to watch for a while and will always be an icon (for better or worse) of the TdF. I think my favorite of these is the Eddy Merckx at the Woodstock store. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s worth a visit (in my opinion).

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  • nuovorecord July 7, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Matt…thanks for the clarification. My conspiracy theory is blown to smithereens. :) Your work is great; I’ll be sure to swing by the Woodstock store to see Eddy. He’s STILL the man!

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