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-   -   Interesting finds around the web (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=929230)

Baby Puke 01-28-16 08:17 PM

Here's a little something: Spinning in circles: How to improve the U.S. track program - VeloNews.com

Haven't read it yet, but just it's existence is encouraging.

carleton 01-28-16 08:43 PM


Originally Posted by Baby Puke (Post 18495059)
Here's a little something: Spinning in circles: How to improve the U.S. track program - VeloNews.com

Haven't read it yet, but just it's existence is encouraging.

That's a great article that touches on a LOT of points that I certainly agree with:


[Jamie] Staff retired from racing and traveled across the Atlantic to take up a new position with USA Cycling, managing the sprint program. He knew it would be a difficult job: While GB’s track cyclists won 12 medals in Beijing, including seven gold, the American riders failed to win any. But he wasn’t fully prepared for the culture shock.

“There was no talent-identification program or development program,” Staff recalls. “There was a door, it was open, you kind of hoped people would walk through it — and you kept your fingers crossed that they had talent.

“[The United States has] five times the population of Great Britain; talent should not be the problem. We just have to go out there and find it.”

Why is Taylor Phinney, who competed in the pursuit at the 2008 Olympics, not part of a U.S. team pursuit squad? What Hammer has done, and continues to do, for the female team, Phinney could do for the men.

Baby Puke 01-28-16 10:33 PM

Unfortunately it seems to conclude that the way forward is as it has been– Andy Sparks coaching the women's pursuit squad..., and that's it.

carleton 01-29-16 12:39 AM


Originally Posted by Baby Puke (Post 18495300)
Unfortunately it seems to conclude that the way forward is as it has been– Andy Sparks coaching the women's pursuit squad..., and that's it.

Well, I took it to mean that they missing ingredient is funding for the track program.

I mean, the riders simply can't live a decent life and train twice a day. It's either impossible, takes an abnormally dedicated person ("eating cans of beans for lunch"), or a person with outside ways to make ends meet (family, spouse, interdependently wealthy, etc...). But, I bet if you could pay them a stipend that they could live comfortably on, USA Track would have the pick of the litter when it comes to talent in the U.S.

It's none of my business what USA Track racers do for a living or how they make ends meet. But, if you have to get outside means to make ends meet in order to train twice a day, then that puts a strain on those relationships and/or employers. I believe that USA Cycling should strive to find a way to support them...especially if they make the Olympic Long Team when they have to double-down on their training as they lead up to the games.

wens 01-29-16 07:27 AM


Originally Posted by Baby Puke (Post 18495300)
Unfortunately it seems to conclude that the way forward is as it has been– Andy Sparks coaching the women's pursuit squad..., and that's it.

I thought there was a bit about holding a whole bunch of talent id stuff at Colorado Springs. Funding for that is another issue, but at least that would be a start.

carleton 01-29-16 08:03 AM


Originally Posted by wens (Post 18495647)
I thought there was a bit about holding a whole bunch of talent id stuff at Colorado Springs. Funding for that is another issue, but at least that would be a start.

I remember tweets from USAC about those "Talent ID Camps" where the kids were to pay like $800 to train with the coaches for a week.

That's not a Talent ID Camp. That's a "pay to train with a pro coach" camp.

Baby Puke 01-29-16 09:28 AM

Money is clearly the problem and I didn't really see that addressed other than to say that it isn't there.

carleton 01-29-16 10:00 AM


Originally Posted by Baby Puke (Post 18495927)
Money is clearly the problem and I didn't really see that addressed other than to say that it isn't there.

Well, there was this comment:


But, of course, the biggest hurdle Sparks has to overcome is the lack of funding. “The U.S. Olympic Committee is the only Olympic committee in the world that does not receive government funding,” he says. “Our budget is exponentially lower than any of our competitors. We can sit about and cry about that or we can try and get the job done.”
Which, I assume, alludes to the US Government providing funding for Olympians. I've heard some rough stories about Olympians living off of like 20-30K/year working bare minimum in order to be able to train and rest.

rensho3 01-29-16 12:56 PM

The funding mess is despicable. At least in LA we have money from the 1984 games that went into a foundation that supports youth development. However, once the kids get old enough to actually race, the money goes away. My coach runs one of the few programs that try to get youths to Europe 6 day events so they can get experience. We have 4 juniors competing in Berlin right now; their trip was crowdfunded.

Baby Puke 01-29-16 08:22 PM

And here's something else: New US track league ready to roll in 2016 | Cyclingnews.com

Possibly a move in the right direction?

carleton 01-29-16 08:40 PM


Originally Posted by Baby Puke (Post 18497730)
And here's something else: New US track league ready to roll in 2016 | Cyclingnews.com

Possibly a move in the right direction?

That's a HUGE step in the right direction.

I think we missed the boat when fixie riding was really big, I think something like this could have really taken off. I still think it can work now.

You really have to get fans invested in the players on a personal level. For example, Professional Video Gaming is blowing up now. Those fans are in it for the personalities (and, I hate to say, the inter-personal drama) just as much as they are in it to see the games being played.

I also like the idea of cameras on the riders.

I'd love to see live telemetry:

- Speed
- Cadence
- Heart Rate
- Power

This is all technically possible. Feasibility is the question.

Baby Puke 01-29-16 08:52 PM

Professional video gaming, really? That is so sad. In a very post-modernist way.

carleton 01-29-16 10:05 PM


Originally Posted by Baby Puke (Post 18497777)
Professional video gaming, really? That is so sad. In a very post-modernist way.

Not really. Think about it. How is a pro video gamer any more absurd than a guy hitting a little ball over a field into a hole? "I bet I can get it in the hole in less strokes than you!"

Also, how is watching video games any more absurd than watching sports?

"Watching pro gamers play a game is stupid! Why not just play yourself?!"
[Goes and sits on the sofa and watches a pro basketball game]

See my point?

This is a more elegant explanation:


carleton 01-29-16 10:10 PM

Oh, and there is real money involved.

The Dota 2 International tournament has an 18 MILLION dollar prize purse. 1 tournament. 18 Million Dollars paid out that week.

Dota 2 - The International Compendium 2015

The top 20 players make 250 - 500 THOUSAND a year: http://www.esportsearnings.com/players

They travel on Athlete Visas.

I'm pretty sure the top 20 track racers in the world don't make 250-500K/year :D

Baby Puke 01-30-16 12:38 AM

Well, I guess it seems silly because video games are generally a simulation of something real. Watching someone else play a simulation seems silly to me.
Call me old fashioned, call me Baudrillard, I don't care.

Anyhow, track racing!

carleton 01-30-16 01:23 PM


Originally Posted by Baby Puke (Post 18498078)
Well, I guess it seems silly because video games are generally a simulation of something real. Watching someone else play a simulation seems silly to me.
Call me old fashioned, call me Baudrillard, I don't care.

Anyhow, track racing!

Sports like lacrosse, soccer (futbol), and Football are combat simulations :D


Modern day lacrosse descends from and resembles games played by various Native American communities. These include games called dehuntshigwa'es in Onondaga ("men hit a rounded object"), da-nah-wah'uwsdi in Eastern Cherokee ("little war"), begadwe in Mohawk language ("little brother of war"), baaga`adowe in Ojibwe ("bump hips") and kabucha in Choctaw.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_lacrosse

I mean, boxing simulates...well...a fight :D

I could go on and on...

Humans are competitive. We like to express how we are better than others at a thing...any thing...anything.

If you can make a living (pay bills, buy food, buy stuff) trying to prove that you are the best at something, then it's considered a profession...pro.

Dude...we ride bikes in circles. We don't even go anywhere :D

carleton 01-30-16 01:43 PM

Here's how I knew something was different:

I was playing Little Big Planet on PS3 with my son who was around 8 or 9 at the time. He was stuck on a level and he handed me his controller and says, "Will you do it for me?" So, I complete the level for him as he sat there quietly and watched. Then I reach to hand the controller back to him and he's like, "No...keep playing. I'd rather watch you play." And he sat there totally content for hours watching me play the game.

That's what's happening.

Watching someone do something you like to do but do it better than you can.

Training and practicing to play is frustrating for a while then rewarding when you beat the game. But, watching people do it is fun without the frustration.

You are like my good friend who also doesn't "get it". But, to people who grew up on video games, watching pros play video games is just as fun for us as watching pro sports is to people who grew up playing sports. I'm pretty sure that our great great grandfathers thought baseball was stupid, too :D

Baby Puke 01-30-16 03:17 PM


Originally Posted by carleton (Post 18498971)
Sports like lacrosse, soccer (futbol), and Football are combat simulations :D



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

I mean, boxing simulates...well...a fight :D

I could go on and on...

Humans are competitive. We like to express how we are better than others at a thing...any thing...anything.

If you can make a living (pay bills, buy food, buy stuff) trying to prove that you are the best at something, then it's considered a profession...pro.

Dude...we ride bikes in circles. We don't even go anywhere :D

Kids these days.

Baby Puke 01-30-16 03:20 PM


Originally Posted by carleton (Post 18499006)
Here's how I knew something was different:

I was playing Little Big Planet on PS3 with my son who was around 8 or 9 at the time. He was stuck on a level and he handed me his controller and says, "Will you do it for me?" So, I complete the level for him as he sat there quietly and watched. Then I reach to hand the controller back to him and he's like, "No...keep playing. I'd rather watch you play." And he sat there totally content for hours watching me play the game.

That's what's happening.

Watching someone do something you like to do but do it better than you can.

Training and practicing to play is frustrating for a while then rewarding when you beat the game. But, watching people do it is fun without the frustration.

You are like my good friend who also doesn't "get it". But, to people who grew up on video games, watching pros play video games is just as fun for us as watching pro sports is to people who grew up playing sports. I'm pretty sure that our great great grandfathers thought baseball was stupid, too :D

No, I get the watch your friend who is better, even at video games. Done it myself. But going pro? That's too much, and I know it's just about my perspective as a general non-techie semi-curmudgeon.

carleton 01-30-16 03:35 PM


Originally Posted by Baby Puke (Post 18499196)
No, I get the watch your friend who is better, even at video games. Done it myself. But going pro? That's too much, and I know it's just about my perspective as a general non-techie semi-curmudgeon.

Here's how the "pro" thing works.

There have always been people better at video games than the other guys/girls in town. That's always been the case.

Believe it or not, there have been tournaments where people travel to play games in person and win awards. Been like that for decades.

Here's where it changed:

It changed when things went online. It changed when someone noticed that, "Hey, this kid has hundreds of THOUSANDS viewers watching him play on youtube and twitch."

Those are captive eyeballs. Those are potential customers.

[advertiser] "Hey, gamer dude, I'll pay you $500 to wear my Tshirt when you play for your hundreds of thousands of viewers."
[gamer] "k"

Fast forward and you have a scene like this (actual photo from an event)

http://www.gameplorer.de/wp-content/...-key-arena.jpg

Want me to really blow your mind?

http://espn.go.com/esports/

Even Nike is in the game:
http://www.epsilon-esports.com/news/...013/07/EN1.png
http://www.epsilon-esports.com/thumb..._n_500x320.jpg


It's real.

They have CONTRACTS and TRADES between teams!

MarkWW 01-30-16 03:45 PM

alls I knows is I'm excited for drone racing to become big.

wens 01-30-16 04:16 PM

Somebody bring up the twitch sale price already.

Market is only going to get bigger, once people start making games aimed equally at making sure they're enjoyable for players and spectators, rather than being primarily focused on the person playing.

I'm grumpy beyond my years and want all these damn kids to get off my grass though...then again I don't own a tv and pretty much only watch pro's in the sport I participate in while I'm on rollers/trainer, so I'm not anywhere near average.

carleton 01-30-16 04:40 PM


Somebody bring up the twitch sale price already.
The big dogs were in a bidding war:

On May 18, 2014, Variety first reported that Google had reached a preliminary deal to acquire Twitch through its YouTube subsidiary for approximately US$1 billion.

On August 25, 2014, it was announced that Amazon.com Inc. would acquire Twitch Interactive for US$970 million. The deal was expected to be finalized by the end of 2014. Sources reported that the rumored Google deal had fallen through and allowed Amazon to make the bid; Forbes reported that Google had backed out of the deal due to potential antitrust concerns surrounding it and its existing ownership of YouTube. The acquisition was closed on September 25, 2014.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitch_%28website%29


Market is only going to get bigger, once people start making games aimed equally at making sure they're enjoyable for players and spectators, rather than being primarily focused on the person playing.
I agree.

I think the next generation of games will focus on:
- Competitive Play
- Spectator viewing
- Color commentator viewing (for broadcasts)

On a related note. I've had one of my matches be covered live...it was fun to watch:

I'm the red engineer "CQ" is my handle. I pull of a big play here :D
(go to 58m 45s and watch for like a minute)


I'm grumpy beyond my years and want all these damn kids to get off my grass though...then again I don't own a tv and pretty much only watch pro's in the sport I participate in while I'm on rollers/trainer, so I'm not anywhere near average.
Man, most kids these days don't even watch TV. They watch their laptop and mobile device screens and stream all of their content.

I don't own a cable box. I haven't owned one in like 5 years.

wens 02-03-16 07:10 PM

I'm riding the trainer and watching the Hong Kong world cup. That women's keirin final was an awesome race. Men's points race in the omnium was pretty good too, but I love points races so might be biased.

JimiMimni 02-03-16 10:12 PM


Originally Posted by wens (Post 18510221)
I'm riding the trainer and watching the Hong Kong world cup. That women's keirin final was an awesome race. Men's points race in the omnium was pretty good too, but I love points races so might be biased.

How, exactly, are you watching the full replay? I've tried using a VPN extension and literally every country on earth is geoblocked by the UCI channel. Assuming I'm not doing something else wrong.


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