Monday, April 26, 2010


SKETCHING mentioned this great set of posts from Mark Kennedy. Titled "A Kick in the Head" they're intended as reminders for working artists, but work pretty well for those of us doing this for fun.

On a lighter note, wouldn't you like to know how to cure ANY weakness in your art in one easy step? SEE HERE!

I like NPR. But I have to wonder what they were thinking of here, specifically this section;
Riders beware, though: Urban cycling is not for the faint of heart. You respectfully share the road, of course, but you will be confronted by reckless drivers and the occasional angry pedestrian. But you're a warrior, so ride like one. Don't forget to bring your battle gear: a helmet, some LED lights and, of course, a dose of healthy aggression.
You aren't a warrior. You're someone on a bike, usually up against someone in (at least) a half tonne of metal. Claim your space on the road, ride predictably and considerately. No warring or aggression is required.

Read on that one of my favourite riders, Sylvain Chavanel, will be out for 8 weeks after his crash in Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Chavanel sustained a fracture to the base of his skull, potentially very nasty indeed. He's an exciting rider to watch, and I love his attitude to the sport;
You know, I just want to race! That may sound simplistic at first, but I'll explain: In this Tour, I get the impression that nobody really races. I mean, everybody is saving their energy for later, for the final week.
But I don't care about later... I don't care about a top 15 placing. That's not why I'm here. Cycling would be quite a sad affair if everybody was speculating like that. I mean, you shouldn't be afraid to take a blow. It's also much more exciting for the spectators: they want us to attack - and if we blow up on the next day, it doesn't matter! At least, we gave everything on the day we really went for it.

That's what cycling is really about in my opinion. We're not here to wait in an armchair for things to happen. I'm not here to win the Tour - those riders are in a different position. I just want to race and make things happen for me! Who cares if I suffer later... And I will, that's for sure. Today, I feel a bit more tired. I hit the pedals hard yesterday, and I was in a break already on Sunday, so there's no wonder.

(Excerpt from his Tour Diary on Cyclingnews, 2008). Get well soon, Sylvain.

PARIS-ROUBAIX - The Untold Story
From the cycling inquisition blog, comes this tale of what happens when you try to take a replica trophy (that is, essentially, a large rock) through airline security.
Without putting much thought into it, I told the TSA agent that the rock was part of a trophy for a bike race, which takes place on cobbled roads. "And you won the race then?", he asked. "Yes, yes I did", I told him. How else would I explain the fact that I have this weird trophy? Why would I actually pay for a replica of a rock/trophy? I had to tell him I had won, in order for him to believe me.

In essence, I had just told this guy I was Fabian Cancellara .... As soon as I said it, I imagined further interrogation in a dark room somewhere in a JFK basement. I imagined TSA agents comparing my face to pictures of Cancellara, and me being forced to stick out my jaw to match his brutal underbite.
From flowing data comes this visualisation of US Tax Brackets over the past century. Now, for a non resident, that's not a matter of pressing interest, but the graphic produced is gorgeous.

I'm really enjoying the commentary on Cyclocosm lately. This piece, on the reaction to the podium at the Giro Del Trentino is thought provoking.
I think it’s pretty clear that the real villains in this tale of two podiums are the fickle cycling fans and commentators, and I think more people need to adapt the attitude taken by Fleche Wallonne winner Cadel Evans: some athletes in every sport will always cheat to win, and no amount of wristbands, invasive testing, or draconian punishment is going to change that.

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