Saturday, February 17, 2007

Saturday Musette

First, there's this from the New York Times:

Cycling Race Says It Failed to Test for EPO

Published: February 17, 2007

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 16 — In only its second year, the Tour of California, which begins Sunday in San Francisco, has become the country’s most important professional cycling event, attracting more than 1 million spectators last year and a field of riders this year that ranks as the strongest ever assembled for a race in the United States.

But the issue of performance-enhancing drugs hovers over the sport of cycling, and over the race.

Last year’s winner, Floyd Landis, will not compete this year as he battles allegations that he used synthetic testosterone while winning the Tour de France last summer.

And now, organizers of the Tour of California, who boasted after last year’s race that no riders tested positive for banned substances, have acknowledged that riders were not tested for what has become the sport’s most abused drug — the blood booster known as EPO.

Then there's this from Velorution. It's a great idea, a search engine that looks for your stolen bike on E-Bay and Craigslist. Unfortunately, it only operates in the Portland area for now, but I can see that this has tremendous potential, not only for recovering stolen bikes, but it could be used to search for all those special items we want. Say, a vintage Masi or a Bianchi of a particular color. I think these guys have only scratched the surface.

velorution: Anti-eBay

The Independent reports that 1200 bicycles are stolen every day in the UK. This is the result of a survey by Direct Line Insurance. Marianne Promberger alerts us that the CTC, using different methodology, arrived to the same number for 2005.

The interesting bit in the report is this:

Almost a half of second-hand bicycles are bought over the internet, where people are far less likely to ask about previous ownership

It is not clear what percentage of second-hand bikes are stolen bikes. However it is a sad truth that there always is a large number of unscrupulus people willing to buy stolen goods. Finetoothcog, a new website, may point to a possible solution for victims of theft.

Finetoothcog takes over the menial task of scanning sites where most stolen bikes are reoffered. Like a ‘fine tooth comb’ the fine tooth cog covers the electronic sales methods and keeps you informed of bikes for sale similar to the one you describe. It sends you an email digest each evening and provides a web interface to viewing what bikes are for sale similar to yours

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Blogger Paul Tay said...

I want to predict cycling as a major pro sport tanks by July '08. But, it will go on, as long as sponsors are willing to pay some guy to go off the front on a TdF stage for the gratuitous photo opp.

No matter what happens to individual dopers on any given race, Amstel Gold, Fleche Wallone, you name it, NO way you can beat some 200 guys in flashy spandex rolling past holsteins, wheat in the wind, and the cobbles of the French countryside, never mind the Italian Riveria.

We'll be fine.

9:23 AM  

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