Saturday, June 5, 2010

Fabian Cancellara: A Doped Bicycle?

You knew it had to happen, technological advances have introduced the new doped bicycle! Mechanical doping...the new fad in cheating...when performance enhancing drugs are not enough.

You Tube is full of films of the great Fabian Cancellara attacking the peloton with amazing speed, on the cobbles, at Roubaix. How could such a thing happen? Must be a battery powered motor, silent and deadly, ready when needed at the time of attack!  The gasping competition is left in the dust at the crucial moment, on to victory!


Gone are the days when some fool (obviously a non-cyclist) would tell you with a straight face that he connected a fifty pound lawn mower engine to a bicycle frame and "got up to sixty miles an hour." Rubbish! The most likely thing that would happen at sixty miles an hour with a fifty pound engine mounted on plain gauge steel bicycle tubes would be, a broken down tube, plenty of road rash, death, a detached engine rolling along the ground, and the undertaker. Not necessarily in that order! Next time buy a motorcycle and spare me your fairy tales!

The old electric bicycles ran the power through the hub, the battery weighed a ton and was very bulky and not aero dynamic. Wires were strewn everywhere and prone become tangled in things and break. Ladies with cruiser bikes with attached baskets, or older gentlemen, rode old style electric bikes to help them up hills.

Now new electric motor batteries have been developed that will fit into seat tubes of road racing bicycles! The motor in the hub; as before. The cables would have internal routing; the switch could be located next to the ergo-powers. The battery in theory could last long enough to be decisive in a time trial, on a col, or in a sprint.

Mechanical Doping: The New Craze?

Is there never any end to this nonsense? The Fabian Cancellara mechanical doping charge is probably unfounded. But just to be sure, the UCI should have portable scales ready at the feed zone. Pat McQuaid could point at the riders, "Halt! Your bicycle has been selected for random testing!"

Of course, this is absurd. Things would be better if weighing of the bicycles occurred before the race started. But doesn't the UCI already weigh the bicycles before the depart? Yes.