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queerpunk 06-26-17 11:57 AM

Personal Gold is half documentary and half weird infomercial, yes. But I'm over here struggling to think how you could manage to frame the story in about the most keyboard-critical terms possible.

1: Reed knew. It's just hard when you're breathing through your eyeballs because you're going Olympic-medal-winning speeds.

2. Not "a little fat." Muscular. Sufficiently muscular to win world championships and world cups over a long and decorated career. Saying that's "a little fat" is, quite frankly, both ignorant and unnecessarily disparaging.

radripperaj 06-26-17 12:38 PM

1. When they first start talking about her falling off the back the guy talks about how he watched hours of video and couldnt find what piece he was missing about why the gap was forming. It formed every timed she transitioned, no piece needed to be found. I know its super hard to fix. I am just saying they added drama to the story by acting like they were having to solve some major problem.

2. I agree I didnt word it the most PC way. Also I agree that all of those women are amazing and I couldnt do what they do. However,she is a little fat. She also has a lot of muscle and I'm sure she puts out a ton of power. Just looking at her though I can tell she is carrying some extra weight that is not muscle.




Originally Posted by queerpunk (Post 19678475)
Personal Gold is half documentary and half weird infomercial, yes. But I'm over here struggling to think how you could manage to frame the story in about the most keyboard-critical terms possible.

1: Reed knew. It's just hard when you're breathing through your eyeballs because you're going Olympic-medal-winning speeds.

2. Not "a little fat." Muscular. Sufficiently muscular to win world championships and world cups over a long and decorated career. Saying that's "a little fat" is, quite frankly, both ignorant and unnecessarily disparaging.


queerpunk 06-26-17 12:45 PM

Doubling down on what you said ain't exactly racking up more points in my book.

I'm pointing out the fundamental absurdity of saying "Oh, it's easy to see what the Olympic medalist is doing wrong!" as if it's an easy fix.

And I'm pointing out the fundamental absurdity of seeing video of a world class athlete and critiquing their physique.

And, because I choose my words with care and some faith in people's essential decency, I'm calling it "absurdity" instead of some more pointed assessments of what you wrote twice.

radripperaj 06-26-17 12:53 PM

I dont really see why it bothers you actually. My point was that I didnt like the documentary and I gave two reasons why. Anyway, have a good one.


Originally Posted by queerpunk (Post 19678619)
Doubling down on what you said ain't exactly racking up more points in my book.


radripperaj 06-26-17 12:58 PM

Take it easy man. we are all just some people shooting the **** on the internet about our hobby. Locker room talk with keyboards.


Originally Posted by queerpunk (Post 19678619)
Doubling down on what you said ain't exactly racking up more points in my book.

I'm pointing out the fundamental absurdity of saying "Oh, it's easy to see what the Olympic medalist is doing wrong!" as if it's an easy fix.

And I'm pointing out the fundamental absurdity of seeing video of a world class athlete and critiquing their physique.

And, because I choose my words with care and some faith in people's essential decency, I'm calling it "absurdity" instead of some more pointed assessments of what you wrote twice.


carleton 06-26-17 01:21 PM

radripperaj,

"the sprinter" was my old coach and a few other people on this board raced with her in the past at her local track.

Jennie is arguably one of the best US athletes ever (of any sport). She's not a household name. But, she did go to multiple Olympics (winning silver) and win at least one World Championship, not to mention countless Pan Am and National Championships....when cycling isn't even a sport that the US is strong in.

Jennie wasn't "fat". Jennie was different....which was the sticking point. The fact that she was anaerobic when the others where aerobic illustrates how strong of an athlete she is. If you don't know why this is significant, that may be why you aren't getting it.

A point that goes without saying is that Jennie literally beat out every other "skinny" female in the US for that starting spot on the team. There were several (dozens) who were good enough and she beat them all out.

Here is Jennie as a Sprinter:


Further, I'm fairly certain that no one on this board can beat any of the women we are talking about in any event.

carleton 06-26-17 01:27 PM

radripperaj,

Reed beating Anna Meares:

So, the last 2 videos and the movie show Reed beating some of the best Sprinters AND Pursuiters in the history of the sport.

I'm not sure if you realize how significant that is.

radripperaj 06-26-17 01:36 PM

:thumb:

jsk 06-26-17 02:40 PM

The pacing was a bit uneven at times and the product-placement stuff got a little tiresome (especially when it's for now-defunct products such as the Zeo) but overall I enjoyed 'Personal Gold'. Frankly I think it's pretty inspiring what they accomplished on basically no budget at all, going up against teams like GB with annual budgets in the millions.

carleton 06-27-17 02:02 PM


Originally Posted by jsk (Post 19678993)
The pacing was a bit uneven at times and the product-placement stuff got a little tiresome (especially when it's for now-defunct products such as the Zeo) but overall I enjoyed 'Personal Gold'. Frankly I think it's pretty inspiring what they accomplished on basically no budget at all, going up against teams like GB with annual budgets in the millions.

Agreed.

Back just a few years ago, Team GB was the rag-tag bunch with mismatched equipment and riders riding their personal frames and wheels. They later got an influx of cash from the lottery and got official with everything. The biggest part was cyclists were paid salaries to train and race.

Unfortunately, USA Cycling and cycling in the US simply hasn't figured out a way to do that. So, our top athletes either need to live off of a spouse, live out of their cars, or struggle trying to maintain a day job, family, training 2-a-days, and rest. This is why so many of our top athletes simply give up. It's almost not possible to train full time and function as an adult.

brawlo 06-27-17 06:41 PM

With the sheer volume of money floating about in the USA's sporting community and lotteries system it is a real shame that nothing can be worked out. It would be a very small percentage of funds to siphon off to lesser sports to keep them in training and support.

carleton 06-28-17 06:24 AM


Originally Posted by brawlo (Post 19681744)
With the sheer volume of money floating about in the USA's sporting community and lotteries system it is a real shame that nothing can be worked out. It would be a very small percentage of funds to siphon off to lesser sports to keep them in training and support.

Yup. People have been saying that for a very long time.

It's very unfortunate.

queerpunk 06-28-17 06:33 AM


Originally Posted by brawlo (Post 19681744)
With the sheer volume of money floating about in the USA's sporting community and lotteries system it is a real shame that nothing can be worked out. It would be a very small percentage of funds to siphon off to lesser sports to keep them in training and support.

unfortunately - the big sports in the USA are privately run. and, the US has no centralized sports body that allocates resources, nor is there much (any?) federal money going to sports. which is to say that though there's tons of money for sports, it can't just be siphoned off to lesser ones.

carleton 06-28-17 07:33 AM


Originally Posted by queerpunk (Post 19682413)
unfortunately - the big sports in the USA are privately run. and, the US has no centralized sports body that allocates resources, nor is there much (any?) federal money going to sports. which is to say that though there's tons of money for sports, it can't just be siphoned off to lesser ones.

Here's the weird part.

USA Cycling has "USA" in the name. Is this the same "USA" as the "US Olympic Committee"?
USA Cycling is in charge of who represents the USA in international competition.
They hire the coaches (and pay them). They choose the athletes (and do not pay them).

USA Cycling has money floating around and the are obliged to publish their annual financials. I've seen them before but can't put my hands on them right now. The numbers are not small :innocent:

From an athlete's perspective, I think that they are banking on an athlete being "honored to represent their country" as enough compensation. Kinda like young photographers who are honored to have their photo published in a big magazine for free. Mind you, the magazine has a budget, has revenue, and pays the photo editor a salary.

That's cool the first couple of times, but eventually it gets old...very quickly. Eventually everyone wants (and deserves) fair pay for all of their effort.

I used to shoot BMX/Skate photos for fun when I lived in SF about 20 years ago. I got pretty good and I was able to get a meeting with the photo editor of a major newspaper in the city. I was looking for paying work and when he said that he didn't have any for me, I said, "Well you can use them for free. I just want the exposure." His advice stuck with me ever since that afternoon. He said, "Never agree to give your work away for free. If it's good enough to print, it's good enough to pay for. Every newspaper has a budget for photos."




If these athletes are good enough to wear "USA" on their chests, they are good enough to be paid :D

queerpunk 06-28-17 09:26 AM

well, the "USA" part is about where they're located. ;)

it has a relationship with the UCI and the IOC. The IOC understands the USOC as being the USA's olympic body, and, in the same way, the USOC understands that USAC is the US's cycling representative to olympic sport. They distribute responsibilities down the chain, but it doesn't mean that one has pull UP the chain.

I agree that riders should be paid, but I don't think USAC is swimming in cash. I'm not going to pretend to know much about their finances and structures, but solid, government-sponsored developmental pipelines - AIS and GB being good examples - have budgets in the tens of millions of dollars. I don't think USAC is just frittering that away on Volkswagons. I think they don't have it. So they look for bang:buck ratios, which tends to be focused more on short-term gains than the long term foundation-building.

It's like living paycheck to paycheck. Hard to save money for medical expenses.

I'm just happy that they supported a robust women's TP program for Rio. Hoping that can continue and expand - and signs are looking decent as they're building a men's endurance program, and I'd like to see a broader base of support across events.

We'll see what comes of it.

carleton 06-28-17 10:01 AM


Originally Posted by queerpunk (Post 19682766)
well, the "USA" part is about where they're located. ;)

it has a relationship with the UCI and the IOC. The IOC understands the USOC as being the USA's olympic body, and, in the same way, the USOC understands that USAC is the US's cycling representative to olympic sport. They distribute responsibilities down the chain, but it doesn't mean that one has pull UP the chain.

I agree that riders should be paid, but I don't think USAC is swimming in cash. I'm not going to pretend to know much about their finances and structures, but solid, government-sponsored developmental pipelines - AIS and GB being good examples - have budgets in the tens of millions of dollars. I don't think USAC is just frittering that away on Volkswagons. I think they don't have it. So they look for bang:buck ratios, which tends to be focused more on short-term gains than the long term foundation-building.

It's like living paycheck to paycheck. Hard to save money for medical expenses.

I'm just happy that they supported a robust women's TP program for Rio. Hoping that can continue and expand - and signs are looking decent as they're building a men's endurance program, and I'd like to see a broader base of support across events.

We'll see what comes of it.

Yeah, I'm glad too.

I agree that government-sponsored development pipelines are the key. But, any pipeline will help.

The US has the most robust baseball, basketball, American football, and track & field developmental pipelines in the world. Maybe copy those models?

Also, I think that US cycling coaches should look to track and field for the next great athletes. They have been training their bodies since childhood. Put them on a bike.

Jamie Staff mentioned starting with 15 year olds and developing them into Olympians by the time they are in their 20s. USA Cycling wasn't having it. They hired him 2 years out from the London Olympics and let him go right after (well he moved over to BMX).

700wheel 06-28-17 11:43 AM


Originally Posted by queerpunk (Post 19682413)
unfortunately - the big sports in the USA are privately run. and, the US has no centralized sports body that allocates resources, nor is there much (any?) federal money going to sports. which is to say that though there's tons of money for sports, it can't just be siphoned off to lesser ones.

Following the 1984 Olympics in LA there was a sizable amount of money left over. Both the Encino and the 7-11 velodromes received funding for upgrades and for youth training. There was also a problem nationwide regarding insurance for many sports and, as I recall, that money helped solve the problem (The USCF started charging riders $1 per race day).

bitingduck 06-29-17 02:30 AM


Originally Posted by carleton (Post 19678728)
Jennie is arguably one of the best US athletes ever (of any sport). She's not a household name. But, she did go to multiple Olympics (winning silver) and win at least one World Championship, not to mention countless Pan Am and National Championships....when cycling isn't even a sport that the US is strong in.
...

Further, I'm fairly certain that no one on this board can beat any of the women we are talking about in any event.

I just watched it after seeing all the discussion here. It was heavy on Sky and Tamara (they produced it) and kind of glossed over that they started with two world champions, plus Dotsie and Lauren were no slouches. Sarah had already been WC 4 times, and Jennie once. They both knew how to train and win. They're both freakishly strong in somewhat opposite ways - Jennie could (probably still can - the sprint never seems to go away in sprinters) go incredibly fast, and Sarah a little less fast but for longer. It was weird seeing them in normal clothes in the interview scenes, having seen them for years and years always in skinsuits.

I think they also were early on something that's gained some traction - putting kilo riders into the TP. It's similar to the Kilo champion one year becomes Keirin champ the next by using the Kilo long power. Jennie wasn't a kilo rider, but probably would have been if they ran it for women. A TP is something of a hybrid of the Kilo and pursuit, since you get the little bit of rest, but use more anaerobic power than in an IP. If you're allowed to throw away a rider you can use a kilo rider to even more advantage by skipping a bunch of exchanges - you lose a bike length with every exchange.


Originally Posted by carleton (Post 19681175)
Unfortunately, USA Cycling and cycling in the US simply hasn't figured out a way to do that. So, our top athletes either need to live off of a spouse, live out of their cars, or struggle trying to maintain a day job, family, training 2-a-days, and rest. This is why so many of our top athletes simply give up. It's almost not possible to train full time and function as an adult.

The movie was a reminder of how consistently poorly USAC has treated women's racing, and particularly women on the track, despite there being a fairly long history of very strong, competitive US women who do better on the world stage than the US men.


Originally Posted by queerpunk (Post 19682766)
I agree that riders should be paid, but I don't think USAC is swimming in cash. I'm not going to pretend to know much about their finances and structures, but solid, government-sponsored developmental pipelines - AIS and GB being good examples - have budgets in the tens of millions of dollars. I don't think USAC is just frittering that away on Volkswagons.

The execs in Colorado Springs have generally been paid quite well compared to the amount of support the athletes get, particularly given that they tend to be very sketchy about the selection process and generally provide very minimal support to the athletes. I haven't kept track lately, but the amount they provided to riders for 2008 and 2012 was pretty small and riders had to find their own sponsors or have a part time job.

Voodoo76 06-29-17 06:22 AM


Originally Posted by carleton (Post 19682877)
The US has the most robust baseball, basketball, American football, and track & field developmental pipelines in the world. Maybe copy those models?

).

Most of my first hand knowledge is with swimming. I have a nephew heavily involved in USA Swimming from a very young age. That is also a very highly developed program in terms of recognizing and developing talent. It has been discussed here before.

And although there is not the huge pay day at the very elite level like the sports you listed above there is one common denominator. It drives the athletes, it motivates the parents paying coaches, getting up a 4am daily, spending all day most every weekend at meets. College scholarships. A quick search showed 17 schools (400 athletes) offering Cycling scholarships vs. 1200 in Track (68K athletes). I believe that is the real numbers game Cycling is up against.

queerpunk 06-29-17 06:25 AM


Originally Posted by bitingduck (Post 19684678)
The execs in Colorado Springs have generally been paid quite well compared to the amount of support the athletes get, particularly given that they tend to be very sketchy about the selection process and generally provide very minimal support to the athletes. I haven't kept track lately, but the amount they provided to riders for 2008 and 2012 was pretty small and riders had to find their own sponsors or have a part time job.

yeah we've scratched this scab before - it's a pretty common canard in the nonprofit and public interest sectors, but it's important to see it from the other angle: it's not about comparing the salary to what else the organization does, it's about comparing it to how other jobs in other organizations compensate for that level of experience.

if you don't offer a salary that attracts qualified candidates, you wind up with people who can't run a complex organization with a $15 million/year budget, and things get worse, fast.

carleton 06-29-17 07:44 AM

I can't find the budget breakdown, but I did find this dated March 2017:

https://cyclingtips.com/2017/03/usa-...-nation-world/


Bold goals come with big price tags, Bouchard-Hall acknowledged.

USA Cycling runs on a budget of approximately $15 million a year, with $3.5 – $4 million of that currently going toward its athletics programs. The athletics program would need an addition million dollars or more to reach its new objectives.

“On the funding side, we are in the ballpark of our peer countries but we are pretty lean and we need more funding. We are stretched pretty thin across five disciplines, and this effort does require increased resources,” Bouchard-Hall said. “We received increased funding from the [US Olympic Committee] with a matching grant from our foundation. Together this is providing us with incremental funding for our organization and we hope that that is going to enables us to do a lot of these things while helping us secure additional sponsorship.”
If USA Cycling paid salaries of 20 track riders of $70,000 USD/year that would be $1,400,000 (9.3% of the budget).
If USA Cycling paid salaries of 20 track riders of $50,000 USD/year that would be $1,000,000 (6.7% of the budget).

This would provide A LOT of incentive for pro-level racers to aspire to qualify for and join the US National team. This will undoubtedly raise the level of skill and ability to compete with GB, AUS, FR, NZ, RUS, etc...

Further, once we have a stable of faster racers that are winning on the international level, they will be able to attract their own personal sponsors. Nike, Adidas, Trek, Specialized, Felt, SRAM, Shimano, SRM, 3T, etc... love paying $$$ to put their logos on winners. So, those $50,000 - $70,000 salaries can become something like $80,000 - $100,000.

It seems like USA Cycling may be focused on recruiting new annual members at the local level and maintaining current ones. International success is a GREAT marketing tool. I worked in bike shops during Lance's heyday, and trust me, people who never were interested in cycling came in to buy bikes. "I want a Trek." Some percentage of those people got on their bikes and realized that they were genetically predisposed to being good at cycling and started racing after that. The same bump happened in track racing with the popularity of fixed gear social culture. A few hipsters were out to out-hipster the other guys and actually went to the velodrome...and realized that they were frickin' fast! They bought USA Cycling Memberships and raced at the local, national, and international level as Elites and Masters. I know for a fact one woman who started as a hipster and was so fast she set track records and was invited to train with the US National team.

So, that $1MM - $1.4MM investment will likely pay in spades. Look at the bump that Team GB's successful Olympic Track Racing gave to GB Cycling in the past 10 years!

bitingduck 06-29-17 09:06 AM


Originally Posted by queerpunk (Post 19684820)
yeah we've scratched this scab before - it's a pretty common canard in the nonprofit and public interest sectors, but it's important to see it from the other angle: it's not about comparing the salary to what else the organization does, it's about comparing it to how other jobs in other organizations compensate for that level of experience.

if you don't offer a salary that attracts qualified candidates, you wind up with people who can't run a complex organization with a $15 million/year budget, and things get worse, fast.

I know that it's a common complaint in the non-profit sector, and their salaries still look out of whack for the size of the organization and their performance. $15M/year isn't all that big an organization.

topflightpro 06-29-17 12:16 PM


Originally Posted by bitingduck (Post 19685110)
I know that it's a common complaint in the non-profit sector, and their salaries still look out of whack for the size of the organization and their performance. $15M/year isn't all that big an organization.

It's not that small either. I worked for a company that did $5m a year in revenue. The president was taking home $350k a year. (I accidentally saw the books one day.)

You can register at Guidestar.org for free then see USAC's 990s. They're usually two-three years behind, but it gives a good glimpse into the financials.

gl98115 06-30-17 04:11 PM

Here's the financials for the USA Cycling Development Foundation, which does fund raising for direct support of athletes and programs.

https://www.usacdf.org/we-are/

carleton 07-05-17 10:10 AM

This is why media coverage AND recruiting athletes from other sports is important to grow our sport:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuka_Kobayashi

Kobayashi watched track cycling in the 2012 London Olympics and less than 2 years later she's setting track records and winning pro races.


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