hit tracker Dave Shields Author Blog: Z Man!

A journal detailing my efforts to launch my career as a novelist. The goals are to share info about succeeding in this field with other aspiring authors, to provide updates to the many supporters who have asked me for them, and ultimately to build the momentum necessary to assure success in this venture.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Z Man!

Did you see Dave Zabriskie today? What a performance! He'll wear the yellow jersey in tomorrow's Tour de France stage! I'm proud to say that I called my shot. Check the first installment of my Daily Peloton column.

The radio interviews have been interesting. This morning I did one on Sporting News Radio that will remain particularly memorable, for two reasons. One was that the host, who knows almost nothing about cycling, thinks he could win a stage of the Tour de France. When he first suggested it I thought it was a funny joke, but after talking with him I think he just might be serious. I'm going to write more about that in my next Daily Peloton column.

The other reason I'll always remember this interview is logistics. My wife went to her Saturday morning aerobics, so she handed all three kids off to me to tend for the morning. (shudder) Because I'm so obsessed with the work of marketing my book, I think the kids and my wife were likely shuddering more than me, though. Turns out that we were all under-reacting.

Just before 8:30 a.m., Sporting News Radio calls me for the interview and I say to my seven-year-old, "I'm going out on the deck for a phone conversation. Will you watch your sisters for me?" She agrees.

No sooner do we go on-air than my three year old starts a tantrum. The six month old was capable of only one reaction... joining in. The seven-year-old is alternately frantically trying to care for them, and looking miserably at me. I'm watching the chaos while talking to host Scott Wetzel, and at one point the conversation turns to our families. The thoughts racing through my mind were too numerous to catalogue.

When the interview ended I opened the door and the full force of the tantrum hit me. It took a long while to get things into control. Once we did my seven-year-old, whose baby sitting performance went above and beyond the call of duty, said something to me I'll never forget.

"Daddy, I need a Tylenol."


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I heard some of your July 25th 2005 interview with Scott Wetzel on Sporting News Radio. Let me commend you for your restraint. I didn't hear all of his comments, but when I joined he appeared to be saying that Lance had a mediocre performance in the tour because he won only one stage. He compared that to having the best score only one day of a multi-day golf tournament. The number of holes in that argument is more than the number of holes in a 3-day tournament! First, many golfers have won important events by having one spectacular day. Second, a bicyclist competing in the Tour de France must string together 21 good (or great) days. If Lance or anyone else goes all-out to win a stage, they have to do so with the knowledge that tomorrow they will ride again. It's harder to wake up and face a 5 hour ride through the mountains than it is to play another 18 holes. I don't mean to minimize the difficulty of winning a professional golf tournament, but the comparison did not make any coherent case that Lance had a mediocre performance.

I could go on, but there is a more interesting point. Scott thinks he could win a stage of the Tour? A sports media professional said that on a nationally syndicated program? If he is in shape, and if he trained for a few months he might be able to do a century. If he trained the rest of his life, he would never get to the level of fitness of the elite athletes who compete in the Tour. He couldn't win a sprint to a stop sign against those guys, never mind a long, fast, flat stage or worse yet, an alpine stage. Scott is incredibly ignorant or more likely, trying to say outrageous things to improve ratings.

JC, a rider from North Andover, MA

9:02 AM


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