Polemics

GUEST POLEMIC: A Canticle for Commerce - Scott Wilson

GUEST POLEMIC: A Canticle for Commerce - Scott Wilson

Conquista recently acquired a new star blogger in Josh Lane - bike obsessive, mechanic at Shoreditch's look mum no hands! and all-around good egg. Josh's recent blog entry about Generation Lost drew a very enthusiastic response, becoming one of the most-visited pages ever on conquista.cc.  

In particular, it inspired the essay below from Scott Wilson. Scott is a mechanic and frame builder in Chicago, Illinois, USA, and a nonfiction writing masters student at Columbia College. He's an arts critic for Quip Magazine and assistant editor for Hotel Amerika lit journal, and his work has been...


GUEST POLEMIC: The Festina Affair - Suze Clemitson

GUEST POLEMIC: The Festina Affair - Suze Clemitson

Image: ©CorVos

They were my beaux gars. The only team I’ve ever followed, really invested in emotionally. Where other superteams have left me cold, Festina – with their buccaneering style, their panache (yes, I went there) and their effortlessly cool jersey – filled my cynical heart with joy.

Which is what brought me to a Campanile – I’m pretty certain it was a Campanile, maybe a Novotel, a cheapish budget chain anyway – on the edge of Cholet, an unremarkable town in the Poitou-Charentes region of France, a 40 minute drive from my front door.

I...


On Elite Sport and Participation

On Elite Sport and Participation

Image: @Cor Vos

In our last Polemic, we concluded that the achievements of British Cycling’s Lottery-funded Olympic cyclists, far from being evidence that we are “turning Soviet”, are entirely praiseworthy. But this leaves us with an important question, namely: so what?

As things stand, British Cycling gets money from the National Lottery so they can win more medals, so they can get more Lottery money, so they can win more medals. There is no other objective, no vestige of any further responsibility to others beyond delivering ever more triumphs for the team’s riders. This being so, there is a risk...


On the Significance of Team GB's Olympic Success

On the Significance of Team GB's Olympic Success

Image: ©Cor Vos 

The BBC’s coverage of this year’s Olympics has clearly been done on the cheap. On BBC1 & BBC2, Clare Balding has spared the Corporation the expense of hiring excess commentators by gamely covering every single sport single-handedly. Sadly, if amusingly, she has also economised on her research into the various sports on display. On one memorable occasion she described gymnastics as “like diving, but on dry land”. On another, she asked Sir Chris Hoy why the velodrome is banked, which at least gave us an opportunity to admire the still-chiselled muscles in Sir Chris’s face as they...


In Defence of the IOC and Rule 40

In Defence of the IOC and Rule 40

Image: ©Cor Vos

It has become traditional at the time of the Olympics to poke fun at the IOC’s supposedly paranoid defence of their intellectual property, which takes the form of their notorious Rule 40.

An article on the website bikeradar.com, written by Editor-in-Chief Ben Delaney, is a typical example. The author begins with an apparently inoffensive paragraph detailing the exploits of some of the best-known cyclists in the male and female pro pelotons: Lizzie Armitstead came fifth, Vincenzo Nibali broke his collar-bone, that sort of thing. He then breathlessly drops his bombshell:

If a company like Shimano, Canyon...