Archive for September, 2010

World Championships

Posted in Autumn Glory on September 28, 2010 by bethleasure

Annual Colors

51“The Rainbow jersey is the distinctive jersey worn by the reigning world champion in a bicycle racing discipline. The jersey is predominantly white with five horizontal bands in the UCI colours around the chest. From the bottom up the colours are: green, yellow, black, red and blue, the same colours that appear in the rings on the olympic flag.” Description of Rainbow Jersey


Just as the colors of the season change, so cycling’s way of doing things alters a bit. The highest racing of the land turns from pro teams to national teams at World’s. It creates a colorful dynamic of former rivals forced to work together for the most prestigious one-day jersey in cycling and an annual chance for a gold medal in both road and time trial disciplines. It also gives an opportunity to discover the world’s up and coming international stars through junior and espoir categories.

The elite men’s version began in 1927. Winning world’s plus 2 of 3 Grand Tours is called the 52Triple Crown of Cycling. Only Merckx and Stephen Roche have done this so far. No one has won 3 Grand Tours in the same year so far which some believe is the true Triple Crown.

While governed by UCI, Italy has hosted the venue most often with nearly two decades of experience. Many other nations claim the privilege also. Even North America has hosted this event twice: once in Colorado Springs in an American up-down style course at U.S. Air Force Academy and once in Hamilton, Ontario on a quality climber’s type course.

Challenging parcours make the season’s grand finale the last opportunity for speculation about potential winners. A win on any of its courses bring the prestigious honor of wearing the rainbow all year within the discipline won. Americans have had this honor three times: Lemond was twice winner and twice 2nd, and a win by Armstrong. American women have faired better with 10 podium appearances in the road race and 6 podiums in the TT. Longo has won more than any other rider, and her 9 victories include both disciplines. No matter whose flag is flying, it’s the colorful rainbow that radiates upon the world’s best.

Prayer for World Championships

“Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.  53Ezekiel 1:28

We ask blessing on the World Championships.

Ponder What is it about me that appears glorious and radiates blessing on others? Affirm I wear a rainbow in my attitude every day, even as a colorful character. Watch the best to see how it’s really done. and see UCI regulations 9.0

52No one has won 3 Grand Tours in the same year so far which some believe is the true Triple Crown. For more on Triple Crown statistics, see “Triple Crown of Cycling.” 

53The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Cycling & Causes

Posted in Bottom Line to Start Line on September 24, 2010 by bethleasure

Race for the Cure

44“Team Type 1’s goal is to prove that by using the tools provided to manage diabetes, exercise and healthy living, a person with diabetes can do the same as a normal person– only better.” Phil Southerland, Team Founder 

Dopers' drug of choice is meant for cancer patients

Pairing sponsorship with a cause is a trend for securing new resources and expanding cycling into new markets. The sport is embracing sponsorship for teams who raise awareness for many issues and charities. Another version of this approach is for a corporate sponsor to allocate monies toward cycling events or teams as part of donations to a favorite cause.

Team ABC Company on behalf of Cause Such and Such – may make for a long logo across the jersey but it’s also keeping racers on the road with creatively obtained resources. Depending on how these deals are structured, charities that support these teams may receive donated monies or benefit from increased exposure. 45Research on social identity theory indicates association with a cause increases corporate sales because of willingness to purchase based on identification with that cause. Bottom line, identification with causes increases cycling’s opportunity for resources also.

So if the weight of bearing the glory of sponsoring corporate profits aren’t enough to keep you on the straight and narrow, add now the extra poundage of representing worthy causes. Think of the implications of a positive doping test on a cause-sponsor associated with racing for a cure to some disease related to the abused substance. Further, think of the real uses of supplementation misallocated away from a needed medicinal use. Someone whose motives are good publicity while deceptively doping behind the scenes is actually stealing the cure from the sick they are supposed to be helping. Now tell me, who wins there?

Prayer for Cause Sponsorship

But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?” 461 John 3:17

We are amazed at just how inter-related we are in this world. We confess we think what we do hurts no one but ourselves. We ask blessing on cause sponsors and their causes and protection from those seeking to exploit them.

Ponder Can I embrace a cause beyond my own? Affirm I help many causes. Watch that you don’t compromise one cause for the sake of another, namely a self-serving one. In the end, no one is served.

45“Corporate sponsorship of a cause: the role of identification in purchase intent,” T. Bettina Cornwell and Leonard V. Coote, UQ Business School, University of Queensland, Australia featured in Journal of Business Research Volume 58, Issue 3, March 2005, Pages 268-276 Special Section: Marketing Communications and Consumer Behavior. Copyright © 2003 Elsevier Inc. posted online 27 August 2003 on

46New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Cycling Industry

Posted in Bottom Line to Start Line on September 22, 2010 by bethleasure

Bike Messengers

39“Bicycling is a big part of the future. It has to be. There’s something wrong with a society that drives a car to workout in a gym.” Bill Nye the Science Guy

Wright brothers, from the cycling industry, with their other flying machine

 As road racers, it’s easy to be insular from regular society. Yet it’s impossible to separate our financial health and equipment sponsorship opportunities from mainstream culture. Bicycle industry 40data show that sales are driven by the participation rates of recreational riders, compromising an overwhelming 95% share. Racing share is less than 1%. Further, of specialty markets, road bikes compromise only 10% of those sales with mountain bikes and more comfortable versions leading this category. Of this tiny portion, race expenditures must return on investment for sponsors.

Hence wealth from other bike sales allows sponsorships and interest for high-end road race frames and components to be manufactured. The next time you feel entitled to a free bike, ponder that. That the industry gives us anything is remarkable in light of these facts. Why do they do it? It’s surprising that we are the darlings of bicycle retailer advertisements, and competitive road cycling in particular is the face of bike manufacturing. It’s a similar message as in auto racing: if our bikes can withstand the kind of treatment we give them, they are more than enough for a ride with your kids around the cul-de-sac.

Our sleek images and hurting mugs are all over retail space proving that it’s not the inherent aspects of competitive cycling that drives our branding as much as what we represent. We are faces with mouthpieces for the bike industry. As such, this highlights our responsibility as stellar representatives. What funds a bike messenger? Clients who want stuff delivered – not the act of delivering it. Likewise, we are only the messengers and not the means for our friends in manufacturing.

Prayer for Cycling Industry

“Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts.” 41Proverbs 24:3-4

We acknowledge just how small we are in the industry’s enterprise. We are so grateful for industry support and for equipment sponsorship. We ask for industry growth that continues to provide solutions to challenges in the environment, transportation, health and recreation. We pray that overflow of industry blessing pours into our racing bidons.

Ponder Do I understand my place in the greater scheme of things? Affirm I’m grateful for any help. Watch that your providers profit.

39Posted on Bicycle Quotes

40“2007 NBDA Statpak: A Look at the Bicycle Industry’s Vital Statistics,” under “Industry Overview” posted by National Bicycle Dealers Association on “Bicycles and related products appeal primarily to a recreation market in the United States. Recent figures cited in an industry trade publication show that 94.5% of those who ride bicycles do so for recreation or fitness, 0.3% for racing, and approximately 5.2% for transportation.”

41The Living Bible Copyright © 1971 owned by assignment by KNT Charitable Trust published by Tyndale House Publishers

Cycling & Cash Sponsorship

Posted in Bottom Line to Start Line on September 17, 2010 by bethleasure

Rolling Billboards

30“Cycling fits into our corporate marketing strategy. We use cycling to explain our sales approach; it’s part of our corporate culture. We have cycling pictures and symbols in our conference room. If we gain corporate clients from our team’s cycling exposure, the sponsorship pays for itself.” John Kelly, Pro Team Sponsor


Consumer goods sponsorships make the most cents...

Sponsorship generally must make economic sense, and big teams work with various corporate departments to ensure the cost-effectiveness of its investment in cycling. Outlays are such that some tangible return on investment is justified. While it sounds like sacrilege to us, the truth is that competitive cycling is fairly unnecessary. Sometimes, we think we are more important than we really are and that we make a bigger impact than we really do. Other times, we don’t think enough of the splash that comes off our rear wheels.

We are rolling billboards to be read in passing and with enough repetitions, these messages sink in. Unknown companies become beloved cycling icons. We read their websites and purchase products. Tour de France exposure alone is worth millions of ad dollars. The figures are staggering and seem a steep mountain to climb when all a rider wants is the opportunity to feed a family and keep racing.

Rarely is cash sponsorship purely altruistic. Sponsors aren’t investing in us because they care about our personal dreams. They expect a business expansion from involvement. While other reasons and passions may contribute to decision-making, financial integrity and fiscal responsibility should be the priority pitches to cash sponsors. If the sell seems too hard, it probably is – so pursue enthusiastic financiers.

Unfortunately, we’ve shown ourselves irresponsible through doping culture and other corrupt practices. For instance, a director that absconds with team monies meant for rider salaries leaves a trail of broken promises. This is completely unacceptable. It’s not enough to appear that we’re doing what’s right, right living starts within so our beloved billboards can roll out.

Prayer for Cash Sponsorship

 “Be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” 31Luke 12:15

We repent for our greed and corruption. We pray for cash provisions to fund effective cycling programs and ask blessing on cycling’s sponsors.

Ponder Can I prove my cycling value? Affirm I am worth every penny because… Watch your business plan open bank accounts.

30Conversations with John Kelly. John’s enthusiasm for cycling dates from his racing experiences with Athletes In Action. He underwrites an American pro team as part business strategy and part passion.

31New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Bike Trade Shows

Posted in Bottom Line to Start Line on September 14, 2010 by bethleasure

Bike Holidays

42“Prepare for three packed days of exhibits, product launches, meetings and a celebration of the bicycle business…”            Interbike Trade Show-Las Vegas

Amazing displays inside and out

 September begins Trade Show season for the cycling industry with events in major cities staged as part of a global tour of trade shows. These conventions are like festivals of old that commemorated some important occasion – annual holy days typically. As industry reunions, trade shows foster deal-making, inventory ordering, and face time among teams and cycling manufacturers.

These bike holidays celebrate the gathering of industry leaders and product launches with myriads in public attendance. It’s possible to tour warehouses like a kid in a candy store…or a bike rider in the biggest bike shop you can imagine complete with bike personalities, bike decision-makers, bike-builders, and bike media. But it’s not just a social gathering or an opportunity for a celebrity sighting. Deals made here determine sponsorship allocations, product distributions, brand awareness, and bottom line bike business.

While it is like a season-end party at times with long dinners and late nights, it also provides ride opportunities – perhaps the best forum to deepen industry relationships. Many of these connections cross borders into national clusters of cycling businesses that influence bike riders everywhere. One gets a true feel for frame sources and manufacture in the Taiwan Pavilion and is awed by the graceful industry maturity of Euro Village at the Vegas show. Anywhere one goes on the exhibition floor, something show-stopping is sure to amaze. Among the booths of several thousand exhibitors, even the displays that showcase new products leave you breathless. It’s also incredible to look across an aisle and spot two legendary riders discussing some matter with animation.

It’s important to note that much of actual business is decided before and after in the quietness of private conversations; but for a thrill and to get a meet-and-greet bike-style, tour round and round one of these shows.

Prayer for Bike Trade Shows

“So don’t put up with anyone pressuring you in details of diet, worship services, or holy days. All those things are mere shadows cast before what was to come; the substance is Christ. 43Colossians 2:16-17

We ask blessing on bicycle trade shows. Ponder Who can I meet this year? Affirm I attend cycling’s biggest party. Watch your attendance deepen your involvement in the cycling industry.

42“Why Attend Interbike?” posted on

43The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

La Vuelta España

Posted in Autumn Glory on September 11, 2010 by bethleasure

Golden Asset

49“The big news of the day again is the healthy turn-out of the public, this time to send the racers on their way.” Web Oficial de la Vuelta a España

Viva La Vuelta!

Harvest time’s number one cycling asset is a healthy turn-out by its fans. The third in the trio of pro cycling’s Grand Tours, La Vuelta gloriously tours through the remains of the season. As the motto of the Spanish flag declares in golden letters, the racers reach plus ultra, further beyond to complete the tour of its five kingdoms – Castile, León, Aragon, Navarre, and Granada and a golden number of provinces. Although Spain has flown its flag over Texas, no American has ever conquered this nation’s tour through an overall win, and stage wins have been few.

Spain on the other hand boasts victors to finish in Jersey de Oro three times more than any other cycling nation. Mucho más than a ride around a plain and homogenous state, the race visits a variety of Spanish subcultures on its sea-level to stratospheric routes. Inaugurated in 1935, the race is noted for its steepest grades and Spanish greatness.

Lasting three weeks, the event has held its autumn position on the calendar since 1995. Prior to this it was held in the spring but hopes to expand participation caused its date to move to a September start.

No matter when one rides in Spain, the nation boasts fabulous countryside and conditions to play gracious host. The race promoter – Unipublic – has done its part to promote a quality and epic event. From the Mediterranean to Madrid, the race sets a gold standard for its hospitable interested public.

Prayer for La Vuelta a España

“…when I go to Spain…I hope to visit you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while.” 50Romans 15:24


We are glad that a Spanish Grand Tour exists and succeeds. We recognize its place in great cycling, even while lesser but important tours happen concurrently. We ask blessing on La Vuelta.

Ponder What are the various ways that I resolve conflicts in scheduling? Affirm I prioritize and plan so that each important event can be included on my calendar. Watch the public reward a prioritized and planned agenda for cycling’s greatest spectacles.

49“Healthy turn-out at the finish line,” Route Summary 21st Stage S. Sebastian de los Reyes – Madrid posted September 21st on

50The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Cycling & Weight Management

Posted in The Hard Rode on September 7, 2010 by bethleasure

Don't leave the bread behind

Bonking & Bulimia

5“I never understood the term BONKING until I started cycling.” Dr. Al Bowman, Cyclist

Weight management is a constant priority for cycling performance. An optimal eating style is an art of personal preference that relies heavily on the science of nutrition and mathematics: Energy In=Energy Out.

With this focus come abuses and excesses. In women’s cycling, there’s a risk within the female athlete triad for bulimia/anorexia. While it’s important not to pound poundage – become obsessive about it, svelte strength-to-weight ratios are the fundamental unit of measurement for successful performance.

Some riders try to address weight management and race fueling issues by bonk or depletion training. We did bonk, we do bonk, we will bonk. It’s not always possible to get the right amount of carbohydrates in time to avoid hypoglycemic shut-downs. The brain and muscles are functionally affected. We feel ripped off and humiliated when something so simple to maintain robs us from potential performance. But training in a bonked state is a bad idea. The basis for bonk training begins a day sans breakfast and then goes for a ride. In reality, this slows not speeds metabolism 6. Metabolic processes burn more energy so eating more regularly improves metabolism. Glycogen depletion contributes to poor immunity, risking illness. Training starved can lead to less intense training. Intense training is the side of the strength-to-weight ratio that really matters in race performance. Sometimes being a bit beefier helps keep up the power numbers.

Also muscle mass is heavy so targeting weight in poundage isn’t the meal ticket. Lean mass mass + power output are the two indicators to watch.

Instead of starving, eat for fuel with pleasure. The French seem to have it licked – small tasty portions with variety, in-season freshness and something alive in each meal. This translates to performance meals that are a tasty source of high-calorie, quickly-processing snacks à table or from a musette. Eating wisely and well for performance and a perfect waist line do not have to be distasteful.

Prayer for Weight Management
“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” 3 John 1:2

We recognize this as a hard discipline and are glad for all the delicious food choices to maintain good health and high performance. We ask for responsible weight management.

Ponder Am I well-fed AND svelte? Affirm I love eating well and wisely. Watch the hard continue to ride.

5“Fuel for Cycling,” by Al Bowman posted under “Cycling Nutrition” as of 9/30/08 on

6“Mythbusters,” a webinar presented by Stephen J. McGregor, Ph.D. on 3/18/08 arranged by USA Cycling. Stephen is part of USA Cycling Science & Education faculty and Applied Physiology Laboratory of Eastern Michigan University.

7The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society