July 30, 2011

Get Off My Ass, UCI

Apparently, a bicycle saddle now has to be level to meet the anal retentive needs of the UCI. If this was released on April 1, I would consider it very humorous, but it is actually real. Besides the fact that it is a bit hard to define level when many saddles are curved, no one of any racing skill level has an extreme saddle tilt that could in any way provide an unfair advantage. Now I have seen some wacky tilts on the bike pathways, but those folks aren't too concerned about the UCI rules.

Now I have often defended the UCI rules when others wouldn't. I do believe that the bike should not unreasonably define the winner of a race. That is, a superbike costing $25K or $50K should not be significantly better than a more mortal (yet still extremely expensive) $5K bike. The legs have to count for the vast majority of the race results. More importantly, old guys like me who can afford expensive stuff should not be able to beat younger guys who can't and are fitter - so mission accomplished there. Saddle tilt has nothing to do with the superbikes issue though - obviously.

But when you get into controlling the saddle's effect on the tender bits, the UCI needs to butt out. Literally and figuratively. A few degrees of saddle tilt does wonders for comfort and certainly does not provide the lame "lumbar support" unfair advantage the UCI claims. None of my saddles are perfectly level, an admittedly qualitative statement as I don't know how they measure "level". They all have a slight downward tilt to the nose of the saddle which shifts the weight off the more sensitive bits to the sit bones where it belongs. When that becomes illegal, no more UCI races for me. I want to retain full use of those more sensitive bits going into the future.

Hats off to Mr. Johan Bruyneel and Mr. Jonathan Vaughters and anyone else with a lot at stake who is willing to publicly criticize this ridiculous rule.

December 22, 2011 Update: Well the UCI finally listened to me and got partially off my ass. Far enough off my ass that they aren't really making me feel awkward anymore. They instituted some flexibility into the level saddle rule. As reported by Velonews, they give you +3 degrees or 1 cm leeway, depending on what tools they have handy. I think that's enough for the average person and only the oddities will have issues - like the owners of the bikes above. And they have to save face, so they couldn't just admit it was a stupid rule and drop it.

And would anyone like to buy some aero bottles? Cheap. I have a couple of Arundels.

July 29, 2011


Repack Rider kindly provided this link. The name didn't stick, but the sport sure did.

July 25, 2011

Cadel Evans is Really Luke Skywalker!

So I was flipping channels in the motel and Star Wars came on. And since I have been carefully following Le Tour, it immediately became apparent that Cadel Evans is actually Luke Skywalker. And now that he served his apprenticeship and "felt the force", clearly it was inevitable he would win. Just like in the movies.

Don't believe me? Check out the photographic proof! Sure - he's a little older and wiser. And his eyebrows have filled in nicely. But proof is proof.

I think this is Cadel

And I believe this is Luke Skywalker, but difficult to say for sure.