We have just experienced the Bruyneel Spike and it was damn good.
The genius emeritus of Radio Shack, the man who guided Lance Armstrong to seven tour wins, just quadrupled our daily blog traffic and proved, more importantly, that he has a good sense of humor and doesn’t mind having a little fun poked his way.
We’d written a funny (our opinion only) post on the new Bruyneel fashion line of t-shirts, baseball caps and jerseys — and somebody in Bruyneel’s organization tagging him with JB. Like he was fashion superstar Giorgio or Calvin or Hugo. We rifted on that and he tweeted our post to his followers and we watched the google analytics go bonkers.
We thought that was really cool and we bowed down to Bruyneel and danced around the room a few times. We called friends to engage in some casual bragging. Johan’s tweet made our month and brought Twisted Spoke hundreds of soon-to-be-regular readers. Considering that we’ll be covering the Tour of California live and in person in two weeks, the timing couldn’t have been better. As my 14 year old son would say, “awesome sauce” or this month’s hot word, “dank.” Yeah, things were double dank.
Then we thought, wait a minute. This man is brilliant, smarter than us and a master of psychological manipulation. He’d just played us good and by gifting me new readers, he knows we’ll never say anything critical thing about him or Lance or Radio Shack.
Well, guess what — he’s right. Johan Bruyneel just bought us lock, stock and smoking barrel. He owns Twisted Spoke and now everyone knows our price for allegiance. Which is, all thing considered, smallish. I mean we’ll still need a few goods and services down the road but we’re totally in the Bruyneel camp. (The Contador camp is a little stingy. Pistolero will not be getting the platinum, velvet glove treatment unless airfare and TDF hotel accommodations arrive poste haste.)
In any case, we may as well get those final requirements out of the way while we still have JB’s attention. The following guarantees total allegiance for 12 months. Autograph copy of Bruyneel’s book, We Might As Well Win (don’t worry, I’ll buy the book), one JB baseball cap & t-shirt per year, one 15 minute exclusive interview with Lance, personal Bruyneel Christmas card signed by all family members, one Radio Shack training camp invite (domestic or foreign) and one ticket to Shack’s TDF after-party in Paris.
Is that too much to ask in return for unquestioned, party line, rabid dog level support? Remember, we’ve got audience, we’re building audience — I say we join forces. A Bruyneel-Livestrong-Twisted Spoke juggernaut would pretty much rule cycling with an enlightened dictatorial hand. I’ll handle PR, relocate to Austin, join the team. You can count on me because despite the loose cannon humor, I’m extremely loyal to whoever pays my bills. A hold over from my advertising days.
What you get in return: well, I’d like to think plenty. Twisted Spoke is running 1000 views a day and with the grand tour season fast upon us, with Joe Lindsey dropping us an email, with Blazing Saddles following us on twitter, with TS irritating and enlivening cycling forums around the world, we’d like to say we have a burgeoning influence. Burgeoning meaning somebody knows we’re alive.
There are two blogger kings in the world of cycling: Fat Cyclist and Bike Snob NYC (West & East coast) and we’re after the third slot. We’re not as snobby as New York and we can’t raise massive amounts of cash for Livestrong like Fatty. Still, we have our strengths: we’re funny (our opinion only) and we’re surprisingly sweet, up close and personal. It’s a personality flaw we’ll admit to: we’re critical from afar but put us face to face and we choke up in admiration.
So think about this deal, Johan — which I think you’ll agree is advantageous for all concerned. Twisted Spoke is in Da Shack. Keep us there.