Bike radios have become a controversial topic within the cycling world. Not only within the United States, but also in countries worldwide that promote and support professional cycling. Some time ago, USA Cycling considered the use of two-way radios. However, extensive opposition from the International Cycling Union (UCI) resulted in a ban on radios being used. UCI insisted on a ban for radios for events on the racing calendar and all championships. This led to worldwide controversy involving radios in professional cycling. Some teams and cyclists even went against the ruling and wore radios in defiance to the decision that was made. This stirs the debate about the use of radios in professional cycling. The question that needs answering is, “Should bike radios be allowed in professional cycling?” There are reasons for and against radio communication in cycling.
Supporters of Bike Radios
Those people who support the use of radios insist they are needed to help ensure and monitor rider safety. This is especially true during racing events such as the Tour de France and the Tour of Beijing. The distances and conditions that riders have to cover leaves them open to a variety of dangers. Cycling is a dangerous sport and can result in crashes and broken limbs. These injuries can be attended to by using the radio. With a bike radio, the cyclist is able to communicate to let their team know if something has happened to them. People who support the use of bike radios argue that other forms of racing, such as auto racing, allow radios for athletes to use. In some cases, fans of auto racing can listen to what the drivers and crew are saying during the race.
One reason to support the use of radios in cycling is the ability of riders to be able to communicate with their team. While the cyclist is out riding in the open country, the team can contact him and let him know of any obstacles he is likely to face. This can help a cyclist prepare to avoid these obstructions. Ultimately, many people view bike radios as a form of safety, but they can also be used as part of a plan of action to prepare the cyclist for obstacles.
Opponents of Bike Radios
It is not that the opponents of bike radios would like to increase the level of danger and potential serious situations that the riders can find themselves in. However, most opponents state that the level of excitement that professional cycling once had is spoiled when radios are used. When all of the riders are able to hear, the different race tactics that a rider will use is made known in a short time. This allows the cyclist to discover what their opponents are doing and respond accordingly. In this manner, any professional cycling race loses the element of excitement surrounding the unknown. Many opponents state that they are tired of seeing a breakaway start and within minutes, the other riders have closed the gap. The professional cycling races lose that feeling of adrenaline that the fans love after a rider has broken away from the pack.
In the end, the ban on using radios for major events still stands, even though many riders and teams are opposed to it. Professional cycling associations need to work with the UCI to come to an agreement that improves the level of excitement in the game, but also provides an element of safety for the cyclist.