10 Wishes: Sheree Whatley

Sheree is a founding member of VeloVoices and is one of the most well-connected cycling fans around. She lives on the Cote d’Azur (oh yes!) and often sees the World Champion whizz by her in his rainbow jersey. She spent much of the summer in a Eurosport car chasing the peloton through the Grand Tours and she’s a keen cyclist in her own right. She particularly likes writing about the history of the sport and family connections. Here are her wishes for 2013:

1. That cycling starts to become a credible sport thanks to a whole raft of proposals – from, among others, Change Cycling Now – which are supported by all the stakeholders, adopted as recommendations by the UCI Independent Commission and implemented.

2. That 2013 is a vintage year in professional cycling with no inexplicable performances, no doping positives, tons of great racing, different podiums at each of the Grand Tours and no serious accidents or injuries befalling the riders.

3. That motorised vehicles – whether they have two, four or more wheels – start according cyclists the same courtesies as they extend to other road users. As a consequence, far fewer of us are killed on the roads.

Wish 4: For the smoothness of Contador (image courtesy of Danielle Haex)

Wish 4: For the smoothness of Contador (image courtesy of Danielle Haex)

4. That all my work on the home trainer pays off and I start to pedal with the suppleness and cadence of Alberto Contador. I suppose it’s too much to hope that I might approach his speed too? No harm in wishing!

Wish 6: "I'd like to thank my sponsors, my team ..."

Wish 5: “I’d like to thank my sponsors, my team …”

5. I actually win a cycling trophy as opposed to being given one just for turning up and taking part.

6. I take part in a number of cyclo-sportives without ever once seeing or hearing the broom wagon.

7. VeloVoices becomes a viral phenomenon with companies clamouring to advertise on the site, individuals wanting to write for us and have us feature their photographs. Tim has to become a full-time editor-in-chief with Miss Kitty as our full-time features editor. I finally get a press pass and am VeloVoices’ on-the-spot reporter at all the major races, and many more besides, along with ace reporter Jack. I start taking my own photographs so am no longer dependent on my current photographer who tends to forget to recharge his camera battery or who accidentally deletes the photos before publication.

8. My friend’s son – the one I encouraged to start riding this summer – wins the French amateur road race championships in his age category. The first small step on his long road to becoming a professional cyclist.

Bobby Jullich Sky Pro Cycling Team Race Coach (image courtesy of Sky)

Wish 9: That those who have confessed get a fresh start (image courtesy of Sky)

9. Those who’ve had to quit their jobs because of their past, like ex-Sky race coach and all-around really nice guy Bobby Julich, find new roles and start becoming part of the solution.

10. Friend of VeloVoices, G4, becomes hugely successful and has to hire in more talent. Specifically, they need someone who understands the US market. They recruit Panache who moves to Europe with his family and gets to drink great coffee and to eat French pastries, my pain d’epice (and anything else he fancies) with us in the sunshine on the VeloVoices balcony.

10 wishes for 2013

Kitty Fondue

Kiss My Panache

Tweets of the Week Special Edition: Feathers fly over CCN

Change Cycling NowI’ve been doing Tweets of the Week now for nearly a year and I’ve found the funny (most weeks), the poignant (WW108 tributes), the ludicrous (WagWars); created special editions on Lance (numerous times), Wiggins vs Froome, David Millar for UCI President, et cetera et cetera.

For each of the special editions, I try to sift through the various strings of conversation, trying to find a theme, trying to find some semblance of balance of opinion in order to show the full diversity of voices  – some weeks are easier than others. But nothing has prepared me for the shitstorm that has been raging all weekend over Change Cycling Now. Some of the most vitriolic, bombastic, nasty, whining tweets I’ve seen – everyone seemed to be at everybody’s throats! No one seems to want to listen to anyone else! FFS!!!

I’ve been sitting here for the past two hours, collecting tweets, picking up and losing the threads, getting more and more disheartened by the whole ridiculous mess. That’s not to say that everyone was talking crap – far from it. A lot of people had brilliant points both for and against, the arguments I hoped I could lay out. But I have to say, my patience has deserted me on this one. I can no longer be bothered trying to find a way of presenting any of this.

So this Tweets of the Week is going to be short. Of all the hundreds of tweets I’ve seen on this subject, @dimspace had the most balanced view and talked the most sense.

Dim plea 1Dim plea 2Dim plea 3Dim plea 4Dim plea 5Dim plea 6Dim plea 7Dim plea 9

Oh, and this from Panache was funny.

Charter of the willing 3 panache

Hopefully next week I’ll be in a better mood. Until then, check out the timelines of, well, anyone and you’ll find some interesting stuff.

My favourite thing I learned on Twitter this week: there’s such a thing as sea butterflies. Marvellous.