Contract mishaps, cycling journalism and instructions on how to make your own disc wheel. A post in three acts.



Act I: Who shall inherit the earth? The computers shall.

As software engineers and scientists continue to work diligently in order to create different forms of artificial intelligence, they've all failed to realize that the very thing they are working so heard on already exists. Not only that, but one form of artificial intelligence already hates us, and thus turns on us in a HAL-like fashion. Want an example of this? Here it goes.




As you may know, there's a professional cyclist named Stephen Cummings, who rides for Team Sky. If you're a long-time reader of this blog, you may also know that there's another cyclist who is also named Stephen Cummings. He's the guy who made that one video where animated "hipsters" discuss cyclocross. I interviewed that Stephen (who goes by Steevo, and is an all-around great guy) about his video a while back.

Why am I telling you this? Well, it just so happens that the auto-complete function in someone's computer at Team BMC turned on them in a decidedly HAL-like fashion, and thus Stephen Cummings (the guy I interviewed, who made the video), was sent a contract intended for Stephen Cummings (the guy from Team Sky). This was before his signing to BMC was announced, but more importantly this blunder also made every single aspect of his contract (salary, incentives etc., I assume) freely available to someone else who happened to have the same name.

Oops.

If you want to read Stephen's account of this (the Stephen who was mistakenly sent the contract), you can find it here. After reading it, I wont blame anyone for thinking that their stem-mounted computer might be out to get them.




Photo by AHTBM



Act II: On the quality of cycling journalism, or lack thereof

Did you read the post that was published on All Hail The Black Market about the HTC/Highroad team presentation that happened earlier this year? I don't know what some of you will make out of it, but I found it to be extremely entertaining, and pleasantly different. Having read other accounts of similar events in the past, I was amazed to see that Stevil made this otherwise boring event into something interesting by his tone alone. Even if you don't like his account for some reason, you have to admit that it greatly underscores how similar, stilted and boring most writing about pro cycling is. And how absolutely devoid of humor and self-awareness it also is.

Can you think of another sport or area of interest where some of the best writing about the topic is often done, not by professionals, but rather relative outsiders and/or amateurs? That's not a rhetorical question, I'm really asking, because I don't know. Are there other topics that any of you are interested in where good writing, thoughtful content, quality storytelling, humorous insights, entertaining accounts, criticism, and quality investigative journalism are so hard to come by? Are other sports (with the popularity of cycling, or smaller) plagued by this issue?

Growing up, I would often flip through trade magazines that my dad (a long-time railroading aficionado) would get in the mail. These publications dealt with thrilling topics like press releases about what steel companies had been awarded contracts for railway expansions in places like southern India. It was dry content for an industry that (in the eyes of a young outsider) seemed to lack passion. But cycling, at least if we go by the marketing hype, print ads and TV intros for races, is all about passion. Right? So where on earth does that passion go once so many fans of the sport become professional journalists and writers? Are they too close to the topic at hand? Are they afraid to anger those who give them access? Are they all jaded? The list of people/sites/publications (professional or not) who provide quality content about the sport is painfully short. We must treasure these people, because there are so few of them.

Am I crazy for thinking this? Perhaps. But if any of you agree, please share your thoughts on the matter, and feel free to share the names of people, blogs or publications who stand out in a sea of mediocrity. Remember, sharing is caring.




Act III: Search terms

As I've done in the past, I hereby offer you a list of recent search terms that have brought people to this blog. I've copied and pasted these verbatim, just as they were entered into several search engines. Enjoy.



cycling = cankles

How to make my own disc wheel

cannondale bad boy, but with drop bars

woman leg wrestling in a dress

indurain's eyebrow like a muppet

armageddon is best def leppard song

Oakley jawbones with hipser bike hat?

how do tour de frances rider go number 2

peanut butter nipples

hot blogs that are hot and gay

Bradnely wiggans fashion hair

why is noriegas face like that?

latino bloods and crips gang symbol

What kind of sunglasses does Braddley Wiggins wear?

What shoes does bradley wiggins wear on his bike and why

Rapha cycling is gay

Shave THAT UNIBROW NO NOT LIKE THAT

why do people mock rapha?



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