Lowdown: The New Year of cycling beckons us out onto the tarmac, but for one reason or another we can't go and grumpiness takes over. Resident PEZ psychologist (aka: pundit), Lee Rodgers, dissects the whole problem of addiction and the suffering it can cause when you don't get your regular fix of the two-wheel habit.
Lowdown: When asked for their favorite articles of the year, this 'Lowdown' from Lee Rodgers got the vote from our North American photographer, Darrell Parks. Lee sums up the all-encompassing pleasure and pain of this sport we love so much.
Lowdown: Is technology the way forward? Ex-rider and coach Lee Rodgers thinks not and, surprisingly, he agrees with Taylor Phinney's latest stance on the World of pro cycling that is becoming "analytical and a wattage-based sport". Power meters are a tool not a rule!
Ever thought of visiting Japan and taking your bike along for the trip? If so, Lee Rodgers has the lowdown on the land of the Rising Sun... on two wheels. Japan has everything for the discerning cyclist, climbs, flat valleys, quiet roads and all with a picturesque back drop. Only one problem; it's too cold in December for Lee coming from a humid Taiwan.
Lowdown: A slightly different Lowdown from Lee Rodgers today, no doping, his thoughts on Taiwan as a cycling holiday destination... Good and bad! The island the Portuguese called Formosa - ‘beautiful island’ - might not be on your bucket list yet, so let Lee change your mind.
Lowdown: As WADA now has new powers to sanction anti-doping organizations that fail to comply with the code, it looked like things were getting brighter on the doping front. But, as always, someone comes along and ruins it all: Ivan Basso gets a new job, Father dopes son, George Hincapie rides the Cape Epic and Tramadol just refuses to be banned.
Lowdown: When is doping not doping? Easy, when it has a TUE. In today's Lowdown, Lee Rodgers is in a comparative mood: Wiggins, Van den Driessche, Dekker and Rasmussen, do they have something in common? It's not black and white, but then it never is. Then there are the dopers of the past: Gonzalez, Millar and Ullrich, some fairing better than others after the end of their careers.
Lowdown: 'Put me back on the bike' to quote Tom Simpson near the summit of Mont Ventoux, all he wanted to do was ride on. We've all seen riders covered in bandages or with ripped clothing and covered in blood, no one will stop them from racing. In the light of Katie Archibald's crash and subsequent track World Cup win, Lee Rodgers compares the different attitude between the knights of the road/track and soccer players to injuries.
Lowdown: Sometimes it is better to say nothing and maybe David Millar should take note of that smart piece of advice. Put yourself in the crosshairs and you are bound to take some flak. Lee Rodgers has the Lowdown on Mr. Millar and his latest pontifications in the New York Times. Rodgers rant time!
Lowdown: By winning the 2016 World elite road championships, Peter Sagan has bolstered his reputation as the best riders in the peloton at the moment... and moving him towards the title of one of the best ever. Lee Rodgers dissects the Doha championships and gives us his lowdown on 'THE' race of the year and the characters of the battle.
Lowdown: Has it really been a year since the last World Championships? Remember that one? The one in Richmond, the successful one, where riders didn’t end up vomiting uncontrollably thanks to unforgiving temperatures, the one where the locals actually seem to enjoy cycling?
Lowdown: In Il Lombardia, Diego Rosa made a big mistake and lost out to Esteban Chaves. The Italian's boss at Astana was 'apoplectic' at the result. Lee Rodgers has been in a similar situation, one that you want to kick yourself for afterwards, here is Lee's Lowdown on 'miscalculations'.
Lowdown: You must have had your head buried deep in the sand to have missed the hacking of the WADA computer and the subsequent information releases. Bradley Wiggins seems to be the one who has been singled out for special inspection. Lee Rodgers gives us his usual Lowdown to explain how Wiggins has brought most of the controversy down on his own head.
When I was asked by PEZ to write a review of the new Velocite Syn I was not particularly receptive to the idea, but not because I don’t like the bike. Because I do like it, in fact I very much like the bike, but the problem that I saw was how to write a review about a bike made by a company that sponsors you to ride their bikes?
Lowdown: Nairo Quintana has won his second Grand Tour, executed with perfect tactics and climbing strength. Lee Rodgers takes a look at the story behind the 2016 Vuelta a España victory and Power Meter Gate, time limits and other race 'assistance'. The Vuelta Lowdown.
Lowdown: They say a change is as good as a rest, well Lee Rodgers has taken it to the next level to tackle the Mongolia Challenge for the fourth time. This week's Lowdown is not the normal Lowdown, but you have to try something different from time to time and Mongolia looks pretty good.
Lowdown: Britain's Mark Cavendish has won the Olympic medal he so wanted, although it is not the color of metal he so desired it is still a medal, but at what cost? Lee Rodgers takes a look at the Olympic omnium and the general deportment of Mr. Cavendish. Not so much of a race analysis, but more of a closer inspection of the Manx Missile's psychology.
The Olympic Games are well and truly underway, how can we tell? There is a cart load of controversy, accusations and sniping... Lee Rodgers, not a man to walk away from that kind of thing, has his two-penneth worth on the backstage events to clarify some points and stir the pot of Olympic shambolism.
During the Tour de France Lee Rodgers took himself to Japan for a sad event, but that visit re-kindled his love for the roads and scenery of Japan. It's not all crowded neon lit Tokyo, geisha girls and sushi, there is so much more to the land of the rising sun; climbing the mountains of southern Japan, rolling through the rice fields or sprint action on the Keiren track.
Lee Rodgers has been out for a 'get lost' bike ride and what better way to sharpen the mind. Lee's musings wander from the lost joy of childhood cycling through to the snobbery and the new 'cliquishness' that has appeared in the world of the bike. The Lowdown on the cycling dress-code (if there is one):