Just over two weeks ago it was announced that the World Tour Argos-Shimano team had completed their 2014 rider roster with the addition of 27-year-old Malaysian racer Sea Keong Loh.
The news came as something of a pleasant surprise to not just his fans, but the rider, who had almost resigned himself to a life or racing in the Asian peloton and an involvement in the family trading business.
Loh has been a popular character on the Asian racing circuit for many years now, yet had only really begun to shine during the past couple of years, since making a last minute decision to switch to the Singaporean based OCBC Continental team, although it was more of an attitude change than new racing colors that brought about the transformation.
After a weekend which saw cycling’s gender wars again flare up, it's time for the men in the sport to wise up and think a bit more clearly about issues of equality and the difficulty women have in making their way in the sport we love.
I don’t want to weigh in too much on the specific incident which saw a Melbourne bicycle retailer cop a media hiding after hiring painted ladies to attend the launch of its refurbished store.
I think the retailer was wrong and should have accepted it as such instead of publishing what was a largely unapologetic explanation on its website.
Cycling Central's Al Hinds reads a lot, but rarely reviews. On a whim, and despite an ever-mounting backlog of transcribing to do before Christmas, he decided to break the drought and and pen his thoughts on the latest book to grace his reading table, The Cycling Anthology.
In truth, I’ve been meaning to get my hands on an edition of The Cycling Anthology since the project was first announced late last year. I didn’t, but it was a limited release and I figured I’d see one sooner rather than later. Nearly a year on and finally the third edition found its way to chez Hinds. There’s been books in between, Charly Wegelius’s Domestique stands out, newspapers, magazines, life. Even with the best of intentions books that I genuinely want to read will gather dust in piles beside my bed, not for their quality, but for my lack of time.
Which is why The Cycling Anthology is a breath of fresh air. The third edition, which I’m told is much like the first two, brings together cycling writers from all over the world in one paperback publication, a rare platform for authors to sink their teeth into a subject, short of actually writing a book themselves. The stories range from three to 10 thousand words, which may sound long, but are more than digestible on your average commute, on a lazy weekend afternoon, or in the 30 minutes before drifting into Z-land.
It’s that time of year when reflection becomes de rigueur, every man and his dog will throw out an opinion on their best and worst moments of the cycling season past, and I’m not about to buck the trend, though I am going to focus on the positives here.
As the year grew longer I personally became pulled into the MTB scene after a far too long absence of interest.
I loved the MTB scene in the 90’s and early 2000’s while following the progress of Cadel Evans and Mary Grigson as they went from race to race. The vibe around the sport feels the same today as it did then. Big things are happening, particularly in Australia.
Steve Thomas made a trip to the epicentre of bicycle manufacturing, Taiwan.
Long ago, back in the days when a colour TV was considered a luxury item, the tiny little stickers on the back of cheap Christmas gifts that said “Made in Taiwan” used to be embarrassingly peeled off and abruptly trashed.
Anything with a “Made in China” badge wouldn’t even make the bottom shelf of a Sunday market stall, while “Made in Japan”, back then, was not far behind either with their famous “rot-box’ Datsun 5’s and ultra-cheap electrical gadgets that required a slap or two to get them started.