/ Isn't TV Coverage of Cycling Boring ?

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Deviant - on 24 Apr 2013
I'm a keen cyclist myself, but I have to admit I can't stand watching the sport on the TV. I mean, what does a cyclist do ? Well, I guess he pedals and that's about it ! How fu**ing boring ! Obviously, the one who pedals fastest is the winner, but really, the skill element is so small as to make it irrelevant ! Look at Armstrong, to pedal better than the others he took stuff and won, it was as easy as that !

This post is voluntarily provocative, but the season is upon us and we are going to be inundated with coverage of the major races and the images are always pretty much the same. Pierre or Paul winning by a fraction of a second after a last minute sprint, the only effort really made during 200 kms of almost flat, featureless country-side ! Why they bother I don't know ! It's the mountain stages that sort the men from the boys and offer the only tangible excitement the sport has to offer the average spectator such as myself.

Dave Kerr - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:

Record it and fast forward to the last 10k.
Deviant - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:
> (In reply to Deviant)
>
> Record it and fast forward to the last 10k.

Even that's too long !

Dangerous Dave - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant: just don't watch it then? I find football dull to watch so I just don't watch it, simple!
Deviant - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Dangerous Dave:
> (In reply to Deviant) just don't watch it then? I find football dull to watch so I just don't watch it, simple!

Sure, but if you take an easy decision like that, there's no more argument!

knthrak1982 on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:

Fair point. I think rowing is the same, the team that rows faster wins. Except it's shorter, so thus less boring and I actually watch it (even though I cycle myself and have never been a rower).
Enty - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:

I agree. You have to be really clever to understand the intricacies of what's going on in a bike race.

E
Deviant - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Deviant)
>
> I agree. You have to be really clever to understand the intricacies of what's going on in a bike race.

I don't think we share the same definition of intelligence !



Liam Brown - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:

"The season is upon us"

It started in January.
Enty - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:
> (In reply to Enty)
> [...]
>
> I don't think we share the same definition of intelligence !

You said "winning by a fraction of a second after a last minute sprint, the only effort really made during 200 kms of almost flat, featureless country-side

So I probably have the definition correct.

E
Enty - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:


You also said "Obviously, the one who pedals fastest is the winner, but really, the skill element is so small as to make it irrelevant"

I race because I can beat stronger riders and riders who pedal faster than me. Cos I'm more skillful brainier than them innit ;-)

E
Deviant - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Deviant)
> [...]
>
> You said "winning by a fraction of a second after a last minute sprint, the only effort really made during 200 kms of almost flat, featureless country-side
>
> So I probably have the definition correct.
>
> E

You're talking about tactics, not intelligence and they hardly add anything interesting to the spectacle !

Deviant - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Deviant)
>
>
> You also said "Obviously, the one who pedals fastest is the winner, but really, the skill element is so small as to make it irrelevant"
>
> I race because I can beat stronger riders and riders who pedal faster than me. Cos I'm more skillful brainier than them innit ;-)
>
> E

That remains to be proved !

Enty - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:
> (In reply to Enty)
> [...]
>
> You're talking about tactics, not intelligence and they hardly add anything interesting to the spectacle !

Like I said you need to understand what's going on. Just switch off.


E
Enty - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:
> (In reply to Enty)
> [...]
>
> That remains to be proved !

Nope - proved last week.

E
Deviant - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Deviant)
> [...]
>
> Like I said you need to understand what's going on. Just switch off.
>
>
> E

I find that comment both stupid and patronizing.

The little arrangements made between the various team-members are hardly rocket-science, just tactics to gain victory.

Deviant - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Deviant)
> [...]
>
> Nope - proved last week.
>
> E

So what did you achieve ?

Deviant - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:
> (In reply to Enty)
> [...]
>
> I find that comment both stupid and patronizing.
>
> The little arrangements made between the various team-members are hardly rocket-science, just tactics to gain victory.

I forgot to add that they certainly don't make the race more interesting for the spectator; the only action, as such, taking place in the last couple of hundred meters !

Enty - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:
> (In reply to Enty)
> [...]
>
> I find that comment both stupid and patronizing.
>
>

Ha ha!! and you said "I mean, what does a cyclist do ? Well, I guess he pedals and that's about it ! How fu**ing boring ! Obviously, the one who pedals fastest is the winner, but really, the skill element is so small as to make it irrelevant ! Look at Armstrong, to pedal better than the others he took stuff and won, it was as easy as that !

Night night - you got me lol

E
Deviant - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Deviant)
> [...]
>
> .
> Night night - you got me lol
>
> E

Well, this IS UKClimbing !

unclesamsauntibess - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Enty: Surprised you bother to rise to the provocation mate, chill. He's not worth an argument.
Deviant - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to unclesamsauntibess:
> (In reply to Enty) Surprised you bother to rise to the provocation mate, chill. He's not worth an argument.


I did say that the post was voluntarily provocative !

Have I claimed anything that isn't light-years away from reality ?
a lakeland climber on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:

Watching cycling is like watching most sports - unless you know or are aware of the subtleties and tactics - then you aren't going to get the most out of it. If the commentators are good then they'll be pointing these sort of things out.

ALC
Deviant - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber:
> (In reply to Deviant)
>
> Watching cycling is like watching most sports - unless you know or are aware of the subtleties and tactics - then you aren't going to get the most out of it. If the commentators are good then they'll be pointing these sort of things out.
>
> ALC

I've noticed quite often ( yeah, I watched ! )that during Le Tour de France, the helicopter often takes a slight detour from the race to take a look at a Chateau or other similarly interesting feature, thus missing a few minutes of race-coverage. Perhaps even the commentators find some of the stages rather uninteresting ?

a lakeland climber on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:

Le Tour is as much an advertisement for the areas visited as it is a bike race.

ALC
Liam Brown - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:

Or perhaps its organisation relies on partnership with local governments and therefore it is agreed to use this massive shop window to promote tourism. Also maybe the passion of the French people for the Tour is itself an inspiring spectacle.

Stages with sprint finishes can require tactical flexibility and have unlikely results as Omega-Pharma Quicksteps victory today demonstrated.

Your assessment regarding peddling faster is simplistic but you know that I think. In the upcoming Giro it will be interesting how well Wiggins handles the contrasting riding style of (a much lighter) rider like Nibali.
Liam Brown - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:

I don't cycle at all by the way. I think its interesting that from your perspective you watching cycling boring. I imagine your not very good in a lot of ways.
Deviant - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Liam Brown:
> (In reply to Deviant)
>
> .
> Your assessment regarding peddling faster is simplistic but you know that I think.

Well of course I know that ! As I already said, my post is voluntarily provocative ! My major contention was the fact, that for your average TV spectator much of the race-coverage is without interest.
Deviant - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Liam Brown:
> (In reply to Deviant)
>
> I don't cycle at all by the way. I think its interesting that from your perspective you watching cycling boring. I imagine your not very good in a lot of ways.

Well, I'm certainly not a racer ! I use the bike as it provides a cheap and ecologically friendly way to travel ( notably to work).

In my teens, I criss-crossed Europe cycle-touring. I've done a good number of prestigious cols ; Galibier / Iseran / Petit St Bernard.
andy - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:
> (In reply to Liam Brown)
> [...]
>
> Well of course I know that ! As I already said, my post is voluntarily provocative ! My major contention was the fact, that for your average TV spectator much of the race-coverage is without interest.

That's presumably why it's on ITV4 and Eurosport.
Liam Brown - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:
> I'm a keen cyclist myself, but I have to admit I can't stand watching the sport on the TV. I mean, what does a cyclist do ? Well, I guess he pedals and that's about it ! How fu**ing boring !


I think your major contention was the fact that for you much of the race coverage is without interest.

However, in terms of you average TV spectator you will have to specify the event. I believe most people watching the Tour of Romandie will appreciate the nuances involved.

For the Tour its different, but this doesn't mean it is inherently boring just that a broader viewing public can't find as much in which to be interested but they are likely to become inform through viewing. You could give it a try. I think you'd find you begin to appreciate things more.
Liam Brown - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:
> (In reply to Liam Brown)
> [...]
>
> Well, I'm certainly not a racer ! I use the bike as it provides a cheap and ecologically friendly way to travel ( notably to work).
>
> In my teens, I criss-crossed Europe cycle-touring. I've done a good number of prestigious cols ; Galibier / Iseran / Petit St Bernard.

Perhaps your experience in mountains informs what you find interesting.
Deviant - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to Deviant)
> [...]
>
> That's presumably why it's on ITV4 and Eurosport.


...............but so is Curling, Crown Green Bowling and Darts !
Deviant - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Liam Brown:
> (In reply to Deviant)
> [...]
>
> Perhaps your experience in mountains informs what you find interesting.

The problem with the flat stages is that relatively little happens before the last couple of hundred meters, give or take the odd sprint or hill where a few extra points can be won. There may well be subtleties involved in the make-up of the 'peloton' but watching a group of cyclists, all doing the same steady speed for hours on end fits my definition of boring perfectly !



woolsack - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:
> (In reply to Liam Brown)
> [...]
>
> Well, I'm certainly not a racer !

Maybe you ought to enter a few Go-Race events then you'd have a better idea of the subtleties of road racing

becauseitsthere - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:

Anyone know if the Giro will be on ITV this year?
Enty - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:
> (In reply to unclesamsauntibess)
> [...]
>
>
> I did say that the post was voluntarily provocative !
>
> Have I claimed anything that isn't light-years away from reality ?

Yes - you came on with a provocative post knowing that there's loads of keen bikies on here. Yet when I tried to bait you back saying you didn't understand you said I was patronising.
Well where I come from you learn from an early age not to dish it out if you can't take it.

Right, I'm off out on the bike, got a big race at weekend.

E
Liam Brown - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to becauseitsthere:

I'm almost certain Eurosport have the live coverage. I'm not sure about highlights. I think Sky might be showing them.
S11 - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant: I appreciate the deliberately provocative nature of your post but the easy answer is if you don't like it don't watch it, simple. However, to pursue the point, I dislike football and very rarely ever watch even though I'm clearly in a massive minority (look at the crowds and the TV coverage) in contrast I love cricket (test matches) and cycling. It's easy to recall the number of times I've been told 'don't know how you watch that cricket, it's soooo boring' well it isn't if the ebb and flow and tactics and skills of the game is much of its appeal (to me) and it's the same with cycling. Some sports are relatively simple and are over and done with fairly quickly, some are not, and in the same way we have different tastes in many aspects of life, in my opinion, it's fine to have that variety in the taking part and watching of various sports.
Liam Brown - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to woolsack:

That sounds like a cool idea. I'd be interested to hear if it changes your perspective.
becauseitsthere - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Liam Brown:

Just checked and the Giro wont be on ITV4. Too expensive they say.

They do however have eight days of the Amgen Tour of California live from
15 May. Alas it doesn't take in Yosemite. That would've been worth a watch.

John Rushby - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:

It's a bit like Cricket - to me it's a load of blokes standing around while the commentator eulogises about cake.

That's becasue while I have played the game, i don't really get it.

Cycling is the same - a bit like chess, with politics and diplomacy, some outright warfare and obscure inhouse rules - Christmas football games in the trenches.

then either the short tubby man, the part time viking or the short skinny man goes and wins at the end.

It's all the sum of it's very subtle parts.
PeterM - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:

>Isn't TV Coverage of Cycling Boring ?

No. There, now you know.
Deviant - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to John Rushby:
> (In reply to Deviant)
>
> It's a bit like Cricket - to me it's a load of blokes standing around while the commentator eulogises about cake.
>
> That's becasue while I have played the game, i don't really get it.
>
> Cycling is the same - a bit like chess, with politics and diplomacy, some outright warfare and obscure inhouse rules - Christmas football games in the trenches.
>
> then either the short tubby man, the part time viking or the short skinny man goes and wins at the end.
>
> It's all the sum of it's very subtle parts.

However much I'd like to agree with you (and therefore, discussion over) I cannot ! Clearly, there are occasions in cycle races where absolutely nothing happens for an hour or two ! It's a long status quo. Everything has been scientifically calculated, everyone knows who is the man to watch and everyone waits until he moves ! Unfortunately for the spectator this might not occur until the last km or two of the race ! Such a situation fits my definition of boring perfectly ! If some of you wish to see something else, hidden to my unknowing eyes, then all well and good.





John Rushby - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:

It's like life

Sometimes nothing, absolutely nothing happens.

I believe these moments are referred to as "Tuesday".

Hephaestus - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to John Rushby:
> (In reply to Deviant)
>
> It's like life
>
> Sometimes nothing, absolutely nothing happens.
>
> I believe these moments are referred to as "Tuesday".

Given the number of comments on this thread, and the fact I've read the majority of it, I think you'll find that such moments are referred to as "Thursday".

And to the OP: Given the choice between watching the peleton potter along and have a bit of a rest between the Alps and the Pyrenees without the slightest hint of interest, action or intrigue, and re-reading your lack lustre attempts to defend this opinion of yours, I'm definitely watching people on bikes.
woolsack - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:
> Clearly, there are occasions in cycle races where absolutely nothing happens for an hour or two !

You don't know that nothing will happen though do you? Something could happen.
Deviant - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to woolsack:
> (In reply to Deviant)
> [...]
>
> You don't know that nothing will happen though do you? Something could happen.


Amen !
geologist - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:

I dont think tv coverage of cycling is boring. I think you must be watching the wrong type of cycling ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfMQdFGTKAs
La Shamster on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:

Sorry to disagree (and bite) but I've been watching pro-tour cycling on TV since 1986 (yep that famous Alpe D'Huez stage with Bernie and Greg) and I can happily spend hours of my life watching TV coverage of flat or mountainous stages - just love it and also love the cycling soap opera that goes with it.

That said nothing beats the realism and atmosphere of being there to see it in the flesh. Doing the Ax Les 3 Domaines climb in the morning before the pros with 6 mates in July this year followed by visiting the start village the next morning.

La Sham
Orgsm on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:

I'm a keen poster myself, but I have to admit I can't stand watching the posts on this thread. I mean, what does a poster do ? Well, I guess he posts and that's about it ! How f **** boring.....
Hugh Cottam - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:
I actually think that it's the best sport on TV. Therefore you are wrong. Point proven. Don't bother replying as I'm not looking for a discussion.
biped - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:

This thread appears to have descended into slightly bad tempered arguing, so to resolve the issue I'll answer your original question in your thread title.

No.
steev on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:

Some people watch golf on TV you know.

Golf.
Liam Brown - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to steev:

And what do golfers do really: hit the ball. That's it.
steev on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Liam Brown:

They also walk/drive to the ball. You clearly don't understand the sport so you should shut up about it.
Deviant - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Liam Brown:


Any idiot can learn to pedal a bicycle in minutes, the same can't be said for golf !
Jim Hamilton - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:

so you probably didn't enjoy the olympics either, just a lot of people running about in circles.. how boring !
Arms Cliff - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:
> (In reply to Liam Brown)
>
>
> Any idiot can learn to pedal a bicycle in minutes, the same can't be said for golf !

Any idiot can learn to hit a stationary ball with a stick in minutes....
Deviant - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Jim Hamilton:
> (In reply to Deviant)
>
> so you probably didn't enjoy the olympics either, just a lot of people running about in circles.. how boring !


Well, you're not far from the truth !

I must confess to enjoying most the events that have a little bit more to them than simply running, pedaling or throwing. My favorite is the pole-vault, which I've had a go at and enjoyed immensely, despite being crap ! Don't get me wrong, to be at Olympic level in any sport is a great personal achievement, gained through hard work and sacrifice.

If it wasn't for the Olympics, many sports wouldn't get any media coverage at all, which is hardly surprising as the entertainment value of something like a game of Curling is pretty minimal.

To answer Arms Cliff: I played golf until my late teens and managed to reduce my handicap to 6. Studying and 'other' activities stopped my further progression, but I will certainly be returning to the sport. I don't particularly enjoy watching golf on the TV, perhaps more than cycling !

nufkin - on 27 Apr 2013
In reply to Deviant:

> I played golf until my late teens...I will certainly be returning to the sport

In keeping with the spirit of this thred, I feel I should point out that golf isn't a sport
nufkin - on 27 Apr 2013
In reply to nufkin:

'thread', sorry
Deviant - on 08 May 2013
In reply to Enty:

Well, I've watched a little of the cycling over the past 10 days and have to say that my opinion has not changed one bit !

There's been nothing at all in the way of excitement; everything just seemed to go pretty much as predicted !

Perhaps someone will prove me wrong ?
PeterM - on 08 May 2013
In reply to Deviant:

Sure you haven't been watching snooker or golf?
yorkshireman - on 08 May 2013
In reply to Deviant:
> (In reply to Enty)
>
> Well, I've watched a little of the cycling over the past 10 days and have to say that my opinion has not changed one bit !

Its strange as in your OP you mention that you're a keen cyclist. I find that the more I learn about the intricacies of cycling (partly through cycling more, but also the feedback loop of watching and reading more) then the more I enjoy watching it on TV.

> Perhaps someone will prove me wrong ?

I think you've given it a fair chance, perhaps its just not for you. Don't worry about it. I don't like watching some sports (F1 really springs to mind) but I'm sure Bernie Ecclestone doesn't lose sleep over it.

You can't really tell somebody why they should enjoy something - its not a logical thing so move on?
Enty - on 08 May 2013
In reply to yorkshireman:
> (In reply to Deviant)
>
> You can't really tell somebody why they should enjoy something - its not a logical thing so move on?

Where's the fun in that ;-)

I once had a row with a mate who bought a Micheal Bublé CD - he's a 40 year old bloke my mate - WTF??

E
yorkshireman - on 08 May 2013
In reply to Enty:

> I once had a row with a mate who bought a Micheal Bublé CD - he's a 40

I stand corrected - you definitely can, nay should, tell people what to enjoy!
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 08 May 2013
In reply to nufkin: I would hazard a guess (to keep this enjoyable thread going) that it would be easier for any of you to become an elite cyclist than an elite golfer on the basis that there is far more "skill" involved in golf than cycling.

;-)

Hephaestus - on 08 May 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:
> (In reply to nufkin) I would hazard a guess (to keep this enjoyable thread going) that it would be easier for any of you to become an elite cyclist than an elite golfer on the basis that there is far more "skill" involved in golf than cycling.
>
> ;-)

You're making the classic assumption that 'fitness'is easier to gain and maintain at the appropriate level than 'skills'. In fact, we should be looking at two factors:
1. What skills do you need?
2. How f*cked are you when you're trying to deploy them?
In golf, you're involved in a leisurely walk and the skill is all there is to focus on. In cycling you're on the edge of physical collapse and deploying any skill whatsoever is a massive challenge.
This relationship should be obvious to any climber of steep endurance based routes. It's just way easier to place wires at the bottom, while closer to the top motor skills evaporate.
Toby_W on 08 May 2013
In reply to Hephaestus:

Golf, pfff, the ball isn't even moving and you get to put it on a little peg to make it easier to hit.

Cheers

Toby
Enty - on 08 May 2013
In reply to Toby_W:

And they get a little electric car to take them to where they just hit it to ha ha

E
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 08 May 2013
In reply to Hephaestus: I disagree, I think that hypothetically it would be easier to pick someone from the street and turn them into a pro cyclist than a pro golfer.

The fitness is hard to obtain, agreed. But the human body can adapt to training/diet etc to become a decent cyclist, where as the skill in consistently hitting the golf ball over 36 holes at Augusta would be much harder to obtain.

So if you were to take at random two fit chaps (or ladies) from a gym and spend three years training them full time with all the technology available, I reckon the cyclist would be far closer to the elite in ability than the golfer.



Enty - on 08 May 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:

What if you picked someone from the street with a V02 max of 42? You'd be stuffed because all the training in the world wouldn't get him around a stage of the Tour within the time limit.

E
The New NickB - on 08 May 2013
In reply to Enty:

I am guessing the percentage of the population with the CV ability to even start training at that level is less than 0.1%.
Enty - on 08 May 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

People forget that even if you took the absolute crappest rider out of the 200ish strong pro peleton - he would have been some sort of champion somewhere along the line to get there.

E
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 08 May 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús: I think the point can be further made that in the TdF for example, the winner has been (for as long as I can remember but excluding Wiggo) the guy on the best performance enhancing drugs. i.e, less about skill and more about power.

and re the very good point about making decisions whilst knackered. This is very true. But I would counter with the vagaries of a golf swing and the input factors. From the feet, through the legs/hips, to the back with the swing, to your head. All will have a factor on how the club hits the ball. A calmness under pressure is required. Then you have the lie of the ball, the cut of the grass, the wind, the judging of distance, the camber / pitch of the green, understanding how the ball will behave. And all whilst being watched by thousands of people. No team helping you out. Just a caddy for advice. There are thousands of factors that can fck up the way you hit that ball.Half of them in your mind. And you only have one chance to do it.




Hephaestus - on 08 May 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:

Calmness under pressure is a prerequisite of any sport - it's not confined to golf, my friend. And the technical aspects of cycling are not confined to pedal stroke and riding skills, but also take in the racing and team side of things, so loads to keep on board while you go through the pain barrier.

And let's face it, at least cycling remains watchable on the telly.
Enty - on 08 May 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:

I think you're absolutely right on most points. It's like comparing apples and oranges though. There's been quite a few pro golfers over the years who would be classed as clinically obese so why bother comparing the two?


E
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 08 May 2013
In reply to Enty: I'm not be-littleing (spelling!) the pro cyclists who have spent their whole lives training to compete. My point is their main "skill" is physical fitness rather than a nuanced ability to control something that is incredibly hard to control.

Ergo, it would be easier to find a human to train to near the standard of a pro cyclist than a pro golfer

yes I know it's extremely simplistic but am happy to be convinced otherwise as it's just my perception
Hephaestus - on 08 May 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:
> (In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús) I think the point can be further made that in the TdF for example, the winner has been the guy on the best performance enhancing drugs.

Just done a google of PEDs and Golf, which bought up a bewildering array of articles, including one saying that the only reason golfers aren't being hammered for drug use is that the testing programme is pants.
Deviant - on 08 May 2013
In reply to Hephaestus:
> (In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús)
>
>.
> And let's face it, at least cycling remains watchable on the telly.

So golf isn't watchable ? What about snooker ? Untold millions watch snooker on television. I watch snooker on television ! I even play snooker in a local Conservative club............but that's another issue !

Enty - on 08 May 2013
In reply to Deviant:

I find snooker on TV incredibly relaxing.

E
Pinch'a'salt on 08 May 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:

Have you ridden a road bike at speed down an alpine pass? There is quite a large degree of skill and a huge amount of mental control involved in that...
abh - on 08 May 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:

It can't be that hard. The OP got down to a six- handicap....
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 08 May 2013
In reply to Pinch'a'salt: I haven't and I agree there is a lot of skill involved in doing so.

TBH, I only bit because I am fond to the odd game of golf and it was getting a bad rap earlier in the thread. Of all the sports I have played, i think it ranks as one of the hardest to master and I have never got so frustrated playing a game.
andymac - on 08 May 2013
In reply to Deviant:
dont get much chance to watch much cycling.

but did watch quite a bit of last years Vuelta (ITV3/4) ,which I did enjoy.

some interesting stages.

Deviant - on 08 May 2013
In reply to abh:

A few statistics for you :

the average Club golfer in the UK has a handicap of 18.

Only 4% of Club golfers have a handicap of 6 or blow. It takes a lot of playing and practice to achieve this and maintain it.

There's also a lot more to golf than simply playing !

nufkin - on 08 May 2013
In reply to Deviant:

> So golf isn't watchable ? What about snooker ? Untold millions watch snooker on television

Heavens above - if golf isn't a sport (and I think we have resoundingly established that it isn't), snooker definitely isn't.
Deviant - on 08 May 2013
In reply to nufkin:
> (In reply to Deviant)
>
> [...]
>
> Heavens above - if golf isn't a sport (and I think we have resoundingly established that it isn't), snooker definitely isn't.


I'd like to see your definition of 'sport' and NO it has not been resoundingly established that golf is not a sport, you asserted that it wasn't in an previous post !
steev on 09 May 2013
In reply to Deviant:

Golf on TV:
Man swings stick.
Picture of ball in sky.
Picture of ball landing in grass/sand
Repeat until the realisation hits that one day, the Sun will run out of Hydrogen and our entire solar system is doomed.
The New NickB - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Deviant:

So based on your stats, lets say 2% of golfers would score within 10% of top professionals. How would that compare with cycling? I know with running the group would be much smaller.
The New NickB - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Deviant)
>
> So based on your stats, lets say 2% of golfers would score within 10% of top professionals. How would that compare with cycling? I know with running the group would be much smaller.

Just had a look at the stats for UK marathon running. The best so far this year is 2:16, which is itself 10% off the worlds best, but to even run within 10% of that you would have to be within the top 0.1% of runners in the UK. I am sure someone who knows about these things better than me could provide similar data for big alpine climbs of time trials.
GrahamD - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Deviant:

Much as I love cycling, and I personally like watching cycling coverage I have to agree its not a great TV spectacle. Many sports aren't.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 09 May 2013
In reply to The New NickB: a scratch golfer will still be more than 10% off the elite, the handicap system is only effective measurement for punters
Robert Durran - on 09 May 2013
In reply to steev:
> (In reply to Deviant)
>
> Golf on TV:
> Man swings stick.
> Picture of ball in sky.
> Picture of ball landing in grass/sand
> Repeat until the realisation hits that one day, the Sun will run out of Hydrogen and our entire solar system is doomed.

You are missing the point. the sports/games which make the best TV are the one's which offer the most scope for speculation (from viewer and pundits) and these are often the slowest sports, where something only actually happens every now and again, the rest of the time being taken up by wondering what will happen next, the build up serving to heighten the excitement to a frenzy when something does happens. This is why the truly great TV sports are in fact the likes of cricket, golf, snooker and even cycling (most of the time they just coast along allowing great speculation over when a break away will happen).

The ultimate televised sport was of course when Nigel Short challenged for the world chess championship. The coverage was 99% of a smoky room full of grand masters speculating on what the next move might be; when it looked like one of the players was actually going to make a move the tension was almost unbearable - awesome TV.
Hephaestus - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:
> (In reply to Pinch'a'salt)

> TBH, I only bit because I am fond to the odd game of golf...and I have never got so frustrated playing a game.

That's because it's a poor leisure activity and, even worse, it translates badly to TV. I think the skill levels, frustration, physical demands and mental rewards would compare favourably with bicycle maintenance, but not with actually riding a bike.

Infact, I have probably watched roughly equal hours of bike maintenance utube tutorials as I have watched hours of golf, so anecdotal evidence that the comparison stands.
John Rushby - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:
rather than a nuanced ability to control something that is incredibly hard to control.
>

unlike controlling a bike, doing 40mph, elbow to elbow, reading the bunch, looking for the gap in a sprint. I think they should make golf more interesting by releasing leopards every 15 minutes.

Bjartur i Sumarhus on 09 May 2013
In reply to John Rushby: I'm not really arguing that golf is more entertaining to watch on TV. But riding a bike is easier than hitting a golf ball, leopards or no leopards. It's not just the drive, it's the chip, the wedge out of the bunker, the putt. There are so many factors that go into that swing that can fck it up that it doesn't compare to riding a bike in a group. Both require different skill sets, but to consistently hit a golf ball well requires far more IMO.

I do concede that you can be a fat smoking beer swilling good golfer and not a good cyclist. But I'm talking about skill rather than fitness here.

As said earlier...probably nonsensical as comparing apples and oranges but its helped me through a slow patch at work ;-)
PeterM - on 09 May 2013
In reply to John Rushby:

Golf, along with darts, snooker, and cricket will never be interesting...fact. No amount of leopards, gun-wielding midgets, or naked lovelies could make me watch any of them..
PeterM - on 09 May 2013
In reply to PeterM:

oh, and anything horse realated too...
Toby_W on 09 May 2013
In reply to Deviant:

Regarding which is harder I'm curious as to how many people have done both. I have and I have and would say they are about the same but different. Golf finer control, cycling less so but you have to do it in a split second whilst feeling as if blood is about to explode out of your ears.

If there is no skill in cycling there is certainly no skill in formula 1.

Cheers

Toby
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 09 May 2013
In reply to PeterM: Darts is fantastic TV and even better live, Test match cricket is about as good as it gets...snooker can be hit and miss (is that a pun?). Last nights Spurs chelsea game was excellent.

I find I only watch the start of F1 before turning off and havent seen any of the Giro on tv yet.
Robert Durran - on 09 May 2013
In reply to PeterM:
> (In reply to PeterM)
>
> oh, and anything horse realated too...

Horses, Cars. Same difference..... It might just about be possible to take them seriously if everyone had to use identical cars or cloned horses, so that the best competitor won.
JYates on 09 May 2013
In reply to Deviant: In replpy to the topic heading I think its is always going to be each to their own. Not everybody will love or follow cycling, as everyone will have their own sport or topic they prefer to watch. Personally i do watch the Giro and all the other races to because i find them fascinating. Both from a tactical point of view as well as being interested in the preperation beforehand.
Arms Cliff - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:
> But riding a bike is easier than hitting a golf ball


this is a good one. Are you talking in absolute terms?

John Rushby - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:

Golf is bit like target shooting - it relies on interpreting load of almost imperceptible variables to come up with the perfect shot.

On reflection, and taking on board what people have said. I think darts, but with angry wasps


and bears
The New NickB - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:
> (In reply to The New NickB) a scratch golfer will still be more than 10% off the elite, the handicap system is only effective measurement for punters

Same scoring system isn't it, I appreciate that some courses are set up harder than others, but you need to quantify your argument, otherwise it just looks like bias.
nufkin - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Deviant (& Bjartur í Sumarhús):

> I'd like to see your definition of 'sport' and NO it has not been resoundingly established that golf is not a sport, you asserted that it wasn't in an previous post !

Golf may be frustrating and difficult to master, but that still doesn't mean it's a sport










Though really I'm mostly just poking fun. I've never actually played golf, and would concede that it's probably as involving to play/watch as cycling, or anything else in which one has an interest.
Plus, on the 'it's not a sport if it can't give you massive internal bleeding' scale (I saw it on a t-shirt once, seemed an excellent way to measure), golf would rate quite highly, what with all the lightning strikes and wayward buggies and so on

Foxache - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Deviant:
> I'm a keen cyclist myself

Really?!

> what does a cyclist do? Well, I guess he pedals and that's about it ! How > fu**ing boring ! Obviously, the one who pedals fastest is the winner

Anyone who can over-simplify road cycling to that degree knows absolutely nothing about it, and anyone who knows absolutely nothing about it is probably going to find it very boring to watch on TV.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 09 May 2013
In reply to The New NickB: I don't think I am taking it as seriously as you are ;-)

As for bias, I have no axe to grind re cycling. Just think that the skill involved in perfectly hitting a golf ball over many different conditions, with different clubs of varying length and club face is harder to master than riding a bike fast. That's not to say that the elite cyclists are anything other than amazing athletes. Just requires supreme fitness and conditioning plus teamwork strategy.

I don't have any hard facts to support this argument. It's just my take on it. Hypothetically, I think if you took all identical twins from the age of 10 and put one in a cycling school and one in a golf school for 15 years. You would have more cyclists in the TdF peleton than golfers playing at the masters.

I am basing all of this on a vibe ;-)

Probably one of the reasons why Tiger Woods and Mciilroy will earn towards a billion dollars each over their career and Wiggo will only earn a tiny fraction of that.
balmybaldwin - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:
> (In reply to The New NickB) Probably one of the reasons why Tiger Woods and Mciilroy will earn towards a billion dollars each over their career and Wiggo will only earn a tiny fraction of that.

Isn't that simply because it is a sport that so many unfit people play, that allows companies to sell to a wider audience through sponsorship?
Dangerous Dave - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Deviant: What a stupid arguement! Golf is harder, no it isn't cyclings harder. Why even bother trying to argue such a stupid point that cant be proved! Its like arguing about red being better than yellow, it makes no sence and is completely pointless!!
Deviant - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Dangerous Dave:
> (In reply to Deviant) What a stupid arguement! Golf is harder, no it isn't cyclings harder. Why even bother trying to argue such a stupid point that cant be proved! Its like arguing about red being better than yellow, it makes no sence and is completely pointless!!

Thank the Lord for pointless arguments, they're what fuels these forums !

yesbutnobutyesbut - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Dangerous Dave:
> (In reply to Deviant) What a stupid arguement! Golf is harder, no it isn't cyclings harder. Why even bother trying to argue such a stupid point that cant be proved! Its like arguing about red being better than yellow, it makes no sence and is completely pointless!!

Yellow is much better than red. Red = Danger therefore Red = bad

GrahamD - on 09 May 2013
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:

Yellow = banana skin = danger = BAD
Deviant - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:

You're not basing it on a vibe, but on simple logic !

Take Armstrong as an example : he used drugs to enhance his performance and win, it was a simple as that ! You couldn't achieve the same result playing golf. Actual physical strength is unimportant. As a teenager, my drives fell well behind those of older players, but I made up for it with precision. It is this that makes me believe that golf is a more difficult sport to excel at than cycling. Tactics and other intricacies might have their role to play, but at the end of the day, it's the strongest/fittest competitor who will win the Tour de France( Armstrong again !).

I don't, however, claim that golf is more interesting to watch on TV than cycling !
Enty - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Deviant:
> (In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús)
>
> but at the end of the day, it's the strongest/fittest competitor who will win the Tour de France

Wrong by a million mile matey. That's the bit you're missing and the reason you don't understand it.

E
Deviant - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Deviant)
> [...]
>
> Wrong by a million mile matey. That's the bit you're missing and the reason you don't understand it.
>
> E


Why did Armstrong win then ?


balmybaldwin - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Deviant:
> (In reply to Enty)
> [...]
>
>
> Why did Armstrong win then ?

Apart from the drugs (which he was better at doing without being caught), he built a team around him (and made sure they were drugged up too), and had a very good tactical brain, a very good riding position for TTs as well as superb bike handling skills.

Of course he couldn't have done it without the drug induced fitness, but it certainly takes more than that to win

Armstrong isn't a good example given the level of drug taking, and the suspicion that he was well ahead of the rest on pharmaceuticals, a more interesting one to look at might be Chris Froome at the Vuelta 2 years ago - I still think he was the strongest rider there, but without the right tactics (partly because he was supporting a recovering from injury Wiggo) he lost it.
Enty - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Deviant:
> (In reply to Enty)
> [...]
>
>
> Why did Armstrong win then ?

Read what Baldy said.

Also - lets say for example that Chris Froome is the strongest and fittest rider in the peleton in terms of numbers - power, heamatocrit, V02 max. Put him in the race as a solo rider without a team - would he win? No!

E
Enty - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Deviant:

Like I said in another thread - you need friends to win pro stage races. Froome isn't making any friends. Having the charisma to get riders from other teams to work for you is another aspect that has obviously gone whooooosh over your heed ;-)

E
Deviant - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Deviant)
>
> Like I said in another thread - you need friends to win pro stage races. Froome isn't making any friends. Having the charisma to get riders from other teams to work for you is another aspect that has obviously gone whooooosh over your heed ;-)
>
> E


No, it doesn't go 'whooooosh' over my head ! I can't dismiss all you said, that would be dumb, but I still think you give too much importance to it !




Guy - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Deviant: So the fact that in the Giro yesterday (SPOILER ALERT) when Wiggins had a mechanical and then got stuck behind a crash and could have lost a lot of time, Cavs team shut the race down. Coincidence that Cav used to race with Brad? Coincidence that Brad then took a big turn on the front to stretch out the peloton and allow OPQ to get themselves organised for the lead out of Cav?
dissonance - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Deviant:

> You couldn't achieve the same result playing golf. Actual physical strength is unimportant.

bet it comes in handy though when other factors are balanced out. Plus of course the drugs would allow you to train longer and harder and get those skills up.

> it's the strongest/fittest competitor who will win the Tour de France( Armstrong again !).

leaving aside the team work etc as mentioned by others or indeed fittest in what sense.

You need to be a damn good rider to go those speeds consistently. Say if we took a drugged up person who had been solely trained on indoor bikes (rollers etc). Wouldnt matter if they were the strongest and fittest i doubt they would last a couple of days before their fitness was somewhat impaired by having a intimate encounter with a hedge.

Hephaestus - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Deviant:

Ok, so the posts from about 7pm onwards yesterday give a pretty good indication of why some people find cycling on the telly interesting: http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?n=548455&v=1

Byronius Maximus - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Deviant:

Reading this thread and seeing people who believe that bike racing is only about fitness reminds me of this excellent article: http://kirklandcoaching.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/training-made-simple-the-snickers-paradigm/

You could NOT pick a random person off the street and get them to within a close percentage of the level of the pros (well, unless you happened to pick the 1 person in many millions), even if you gave them enough money to give up their job, all the training facilities needed etc. To haul yourself out of bed every day and put yourself through the agony of training that the pros do is something that very few people would be willing to do - I know I wouldn't want to and I'm pretty keen on cycling!

I realise this applies to a lot of sports at the professional level, but it's what characterises the committment of the best endurance athletes - I don't imagine many golfers put their body through that kind of hardship, but then I don't imagine many cyclists are willing to practice the same swing hundreds of times a day (or whatever golfers do), so it's a pretty pointless comparison really.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 10 May 2013
In reply to Byronius Maximus: from your link

" I recently had a parent on the phone saying that their “little Johnny” was getting dropped in local criteriums because he was on junior restricted gears and what should they do? Without a hint of irony, I replied “pedal faster!!!!” It’s simple….if you can’t increase the force, increase the velocity. "

Just sayin...;-)

Byronius Maximus - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:

...and that addresses just one of the skills that a racing cyclist needs.
Hephaestus - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:
> (In reply to Byronius Maximus) from your link
>
> " I recently had a parent on the phone saying that their “little Johnny” was getting dropped in local criteriums because he was on junior restricted gears and what should they do? Without a hint of irony, I replied “pedal faster!!!!” It’s simple….if you can’t increase the force, increase the velocity. "
>
> Just sayin...;-)

Cherry-Picker! Read the rest of the article, too.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 10 May 2013
In reply to Hephaestus: I did actually. I thought it was an excellent article. But I couldn't resist when I came along that gem ;-)
Byronius Maximus - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:

Fair play ;-)
bouldery bits - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Deviant:

I enjoy watching cycling in the same way that I enjoy watching cricket. Hammered and not paying proper attention.
Deviant - on 10 May 2013
In reply to dissonance:

Compare what is comparable !

I thought it was pretty obvious that when I say 'strongest/fittest' it was someone chosen from a group of elite cyclists participating in the T de F.

Golfers come in all shapes and sizes and even some of the most diminutive can deliver a powerful swing.
Deviant - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Guy:
> (In reply to Deviant) So the fact that in the Giro yesterday (SPOILER ALERT) when Wiggins had a mechanical and then got stuck behind a crash and could have lost a lot of time, Cavs team shut the race down. Coincidence that Cav used to race with Brad? Coincidence that Brad then took a big turn on the front to stretch out the peloton and allow OPQ to get themselves organised for the lead out of Cav?

I haven't seen any footage of the race so any comment I make is purely speculative.

By the sound of things, Cav's team slowed down the race to allow Wiggins to return ? Couldn't such action be considered obstructive if it prevented anyone else breaking away and result in a disqualification ?

If no one tried to beak out you would have to assume that the imposed pace was acceptable to all.

balmybaldwin - on 11 May 2013
In reply to Deviant:

Not at all, similar to many other sports it is considered sportsman like behaviour - similar to a football team knocking the ball out if an opposing team member is injured

OPQS in no way prevented others from breaking away, they just did not pursue an unsporting advantage. This is very common, and you may recall if you followed last year's tour a stage in the pyranees where some Muppet had spread carpet tacs all over the road, and Wiggins sought, and got agreement from all teams to neutralise the race until the peleton got back together (iirc there were a few riders that tried to take advantage) there are many examples of this behaviour between teams, even with strong rivalries rather than friendships as there are between Cav and Wiggo
Enty - on 11 May 2013
In reply to Deviant:
> (In reply to Guy)
> [...]
>
>
>
> By the sound of things, Cav's team slowed down the race to allow Wiggins to return ? Couldn't such action be considered obstructive if it prevented anyone else breaking away and result in a disqualification ?
>
> If no one tried to beak out you would have to assume that the imposed pace was acceptable to all.

Yay! We're getting somewhere ;-)

E
RichT - on 14 May 2013
In reply to Deviant:

TV coverage of cycling boring???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSqj8c8LaBQ

You're just watching the wrong cycling :-))
Deviant - on 15 May 2013
In reply to RichT:
> (In reply to Deviant)
>
> TV coverage of cycling boring???
>
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSqj8c8LaBQ
>
> You're just watching the wrong cycling :-))

I had seen this !




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