Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tough Times

This morning’s drizzle on the way in was that kind of annoying weather that isn’t enough to actually ruin a ride, but is just the push to make it slightly less enjoyable. Similarly, through travels online, I have become aware of recent events in the “world of cycling” that make being a person who rides slightly less enjoyable. First and foremost, Floyd Landis pretty much snapped. The guy is a disgraced ex-Tour champion who most people will say is the prime example of what’s wrong with professional road racing. And that goes for the people that claim dopers are ruing things and the people that claim that the doping controls are out of control and we are catching clean athletes and ruining them. Landis now claims that despite his multiple protests of innocence that he has always been clean, a drawn out circus show of a appeal case, donations to his defense fund and a book, that he actually was doping. Also, everyone he knew and most of us know and love were also doping.

It’s a fairly sizable bombshell, and quite frankly I am not sure what to make of it. To tell the honest trust, I always believed Landis’ acertations of innocence. Now I am forced to either believe that he was lying then and that me and everyone else who believed him and supported him were total suckers, or that the man has been so broken by everything that happened that he has completely snapped and is simply trying to bring everyone else down to his level of misery. Neither is a pleasant prospect. Since there isn’t any new hard evidence, it will all boil down to a he said / he said debate. It may be enough for the French to ban anyone he lists for racing in the Tour, they have done it before. Although that may not matter much since Armstrong crashed today, dropped from the Amgen and was taken to the hospital for x-rays.

In other news, I learned that someone raced the Leadville under someone else’s name. They even proceeded to pick up prizes that they technically shouldn’t have won because the false identity placed them in a different age category. They now face felony charges.

Really I am not sure what to make of it. I have a group of friends that I ride with and bizarrely, we just like riding our bikes. I have recently strayed into the world of racing, but quite honestly it still felt more like a group ride with new friends. I think recreational cyclists tend identify with professional cyclists relatively easily. I ride a bike, they ride a bike. They just happen to train a bit more and be better at it. Maybe that’s not the case, because obviously the mindset is so different that it’s foreign to the rest of us.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Thoughts on Vacation

Vacation is different things to different people. To some it is a drunken jumble of clubs, others prefer their time on the beach. Some people like to "rough it" and spend a few days without electricity (or at least with only enough to run a flashlight, a cellphone and one other small entertainment device). The avid cyclist of course has a different idea of vacation. Mine looks something like this:All that being the same I took a trip last week to see my brother off into the bonds of matrimony. It was a nice ceremony and I got to see all of my family and some folks that were around back when I was growing up as well. We took a trip afterwards to Tahoe to hang out for a few days. I didn't notice I was missing my bike so much until we stopped in Auburn to eat and I noticed that someone was towing some nicely blinged Specializeds around. Then suddenly I remembered that Auburn was known locally for its trails and I was sadly without bike. I guess the next trip I'll take I remember that whatever effort it takes to get a bike there is worth not suffering that several hour mope of "I should have brought a bike".