UnCommonwealth

The online journal of speculative fiction author Christopher Rowe.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

That other obsession of mine...

Besides the sci fi, I mean.

So, this week the World Road Cycling Championships are being run in Madrid. A brief primer: there are basically two different types of races run by three different groups of people. The race types are the road race (basically what you'd expect, a bunch of people all trying to get to the finish line as quickly as possible) and the time trial (which is also a bunch of people trying to get to the finish line as quickly as possible except in this case they race one at a time "against the clock," over shorter distances and with wacky aero helmets and disc wheels and stuff). The three groups of people are the "Elite Women" (basically pro bike racers from around the world), the "Elite Men" (same thing but with different chromosomes and inferior tactics), and the "U23 Men" which are the top men under the age of 23. Where are the top women under the age of 23? In the "Elite Women" race, presumably. Don't ask me, ask the UCI.

Anyway, hate to be provincial and all, but the women's time trial has been run and Team USA placed all three of their TT riders in the top eight! And Kristin "No Relation" Armstrong is on the podium at third!

You can check the results and see pictures and maps and stuff here. And if you've got the bandwidth, you can watch the elite men's TT (tomorrow) and road race (Saturday) on the net at cycling.tv.

I love Worlds for some of the same reasons that I love the Olympics. For one thing, they're not raced (theoretically) based on the structure of the trade teams the riders work for through the season but instead based on national teams, so you get to see tons of cyclists from all over the world that you've never heard of, wearing much cooler kits than the logo laden billboard style kits of the regular teams. What makes them better than the Olympics is that its all bicycle racing!

I believe I've sent everybody who asked for one an "answer sheet" to the quotes from last week. If anybody else still wants one, please let me know. And I know I haven't fixed the typos in the Link and Delany quotes yet (I'm talking to J.S. and N.H. here) but will soonest.

Oh, and in tonight's class we'll be discussing plot and talking about Ian McDonald's "The Little Goddess," a novella from the June issue of Asimov's that provides a great foretaste of his award winning novel River of Gods for those of you who are waiting for the Pyr edition to come out here in the states. Here's an excerpt of the story.