Loren Rowney baquette
  • winkybiker

    Another puff-piece. This has little or nothing to do with cycling, other than it is written by a cyclist. It reads like “my first big overseas holiday”. How about some insight into training, racing and equipment?

    • anyoldbike

      Perhaps these stories demonstrate the disparity between what we believe is the professional experience and the reality of the experience. There is some value in that. The tip is really in the title – the author has indicated that she might be going down the humorous travel experience line with ‘Endless baguettes’ and Loren ended with ‘surviving the French Tours’, so it is about the experience of the pro riders. I’m not arguing that we don’t have those sort of travel stories ourselves but having chosen to read on, the content was as I expected.

    • Simone Giuliani

      We understand this style of piece isn’t your cup of tea winkybiker, but the feedback we get is that an insight into the personalities and real life of pro cyclists is exactly what many of our readers are looking for. We HUGELY appreciate that Loren is prepared to write these articles for us. We strive to have a variety of article styles so if this one isn’t for you, its easy to scroll through the homepage and find many more purely on racing, or other aspects of the sport that you find more worthy. However, I (and many of our readers) continue to also find value in the fun, experiences and personalities surrounding the sport.

      • RacingCondor

        I for one quite enjoy reading about some of the ridiculous human interest / cultural misunderstanding moments, sure it’s more ‘lifestyle’ reading rather than cycling but who wants to read nothing but race reports.

      • winkybiker

        Probably better to have a discussion over a beer, than to continue here. My parting comment is that I thought creating the Ella section of CT was intended to promote the sport for women. When I see fashion, cooking and lifestyle pieces here at Ella, rather than in the general section, I feel it risks trivializing women’s participation and I also realize we have a long way to go.

        (And Loren should be grateful that you publish her pieces, rather than the other way round. Being well-known is arguably what she does for a living.)

        • bike-aholic

          That’s harsh. Perhaps if you don’t like it, don’t read it. I enjoy reading Loren’s articles and get tired of the usual race reports and tech write-ups I can never afford.

          • winkybiker

            Harsh? Perhaps. There are lot’s of great articles on CT (and Ella) that aren’t gear reviews for expensive bikes or race reports. I’m just saying that nail polish, “the dreaded sausage look” (and actual quote from an Ella article) and bed-bugs aren’t why I read cycling sites. Maybe I’m a misogynist. But I’d love to see participation in the sport by as many women as possible.

            • Superpilot

              Just like you said, Ella is based around getting more women into cycling. As such, have you read any of the cycling media articles that have highlighted that promoting cycling to females is significantly different to that of males? You can promote cycling as a competitive endeavour to men, however women prefer health, lifestyle and aspirational approaches? It may have been on this very site that I read that. This article is great, it tells a behind the scenes look from Loren’s perspective, that appeals to others that may not even like competitive riding (lifestyle) with some chuckles along the way. If you want to read tech, competition results and training tips, there is plenty on the rest of the site. This type of article adds, not subtracts, to the fabric of CT and the entirety of road cycling culture, which includes women, in my opinion. So in my opinion, it appears it just isn’t written for you sorry. “nail polish, “the dreaded sausage look” (and actual quote from an Ella article) and bed-bugs aren’t why I read cycling sites” but it may be the very reason someone else does!

              • winkybiker

                Over the last couple of days I have read criticism/discussion of the way the media treats women athletes differently to men at the Olympics. Women rated for their looks, their success credited to the “men in their lives”, referred to as “girls” whereas men are seldom referred to as “boys”, praised for being “as good as the men”, characterized as “the next/female [male athlete]” etc…..

      • jules

        I enjoy these articles. It’s great hearing from Loren and other pros on non-racing stuff. It gives you a feel for what life is like as a pro in Europe, or France. Keep them up!

  • david hockney

    Is this France you are talking about? The one in Europe? I’m pretty sure they have Wifi there. And coffee. And towels. Even clean water.

    • david__g

      This is such a baffling piece. It makes France sound like (insert a backwards country no one ever goes to) in the 1950s or something.

      (of course, bad organisation and under funding of women’s events that lead to no towels in a hotel or substandard accommodation are a very real problem, but it feels like that’s a piece waiting to be written and not really covered here. France is not lacking in any of the things mentioned, in general. But I can bet you if you were put up in a crappy hotel or motel in the US or Australia you could write the very same things)

      • Jenniferehager

        <<e:i. ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????:::::::!!bz638a:….,..

      • exemplary1

        David H and David G. Believe it. Sure there’s wifi, but it’s notoriously unreliable, the coffee is terrible (mostly stale, pre-ground robusta) and, order in cafe with milk and it costs triple. Crappy pillows, sandpaper towels, no air con, and the French, you’ll see, only drink bottled water themselves. A Motel 6 is heaven by comparison. Don’t forget your electrical adapters.

    • Hamish Moffatt

      Actually they really don’t have coffee (that’s worth drinking).

      • david hockney

        Seems you may be right on that, according to lovers of the stuff. I was talking out my arse a bit. In some ways France is pretty backward. I stayed in an Airbnb place in Paris and it was simply terrible. Mattress on the floor, tiny kitchen, broken windows, above a noisy cafe strip. My god the noise. 2am they start dragging the chairs inside and then the motorbikes and sirens start. 6am the rubbish trucks arrive. Every fucking day. The only good thing was the Wifi. And they will not speak English deliberately just to make you feel uncomfortable. Metro is a disgrace. People dragging their poor sick dogs around because they feed them garlic. And they don’t pick up after them. Rubbish and homeless people everywhere. Why was I defending them?

      • winkybiker

        Are you Australian? You sound like an Australian.

  • bigstu_

    Fun read, thanks Loren. Cudos to you for maintaining your sense of humour whilst competing at the highest level on such limited team budgets. I’m reminded of the old saying “..what? And quit show business?!”. Maybe if you ask nicely, Sky can loan your squad Chris Froome’s personal bus that they fully kitted out but were then prevented from using on tour. I’m sure that even the luggage compartments would be better appointed than some accommodations you’ve experienced. I hope these aren’t recent experiences and that Orica are looking after you a little better. I sure the men’s tour is better organised. Keep living the dream (and maybe spray your bed with Mortein!)

  • 4th Dimension Datcha

    Did she say 2012 France or 1980s former Soviet Union?


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