Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bicycle Riders Are Idiots Too

Forget the ineradicable corruption of the UCI that will forevermore spread through the hallowed ground of cycling like a metastasized cancer only because the briber in chief refuses to come forward and blow the whistle on the corrupt who refuse to relinquish power.  There are more important topics, mainly road survival of cyclists who may potentially become an endangered species; not only because of reckless people who drive automobiles and multitask; slaves to gadgetry, oblivious of their surroundings; but because some people who ride bicycles pose potential death threats to themselves, due to ignorance and stupidity.

The other day a person driving a Ford F-250 pickup truck hauling lawn equipment ran a four way stop sign and hit my back bicycle tire, not the wheel, but the tire. A most amazing experience: knowing that you are about to collide with an idiot and die, only to survive by a miracle and live to tell about it.  Of course, this incident was trivial; cyclists experience similar incidents with distracted multitasking morons every day and live to discuss these incidents with a cavalier smirk.  A cat has nine lives but a cyclist has ninety nine lives, daredevils who scoff at the grim reaper with impunity.  But as everyone knows death always draws the white pawn.  Sooner or later death will win no matter how brilliant your defensive strategy or how brilliant your planning; and following the rules of the road like a saint won't save your life from a distracted fool.  However, you may prolong you life until that last incident.

Death does not necessarily excuse bad bicycle behavior though.  The object is to live as long as possible, not hasten death by means of stupidity or recklessness.  Most avid cyclists have experienced enough close calls to understand that it is better to follow the rules of the road and act like a responsible adult rather than a child, even though the road is full of irresponsible adults who act like children.  Cyclists are professional riders who have identifying badges of courage in the form of healed bones and road rash scars from encounters with automobiles and bicycle riders who have a callous disregard or basic ignorance of basic road safety.  There is a bicycle automobile collision every eleven minutes in the United States and automobile drivers are at fault seventy percent of the time.  That means that bicycle riders are at fault thirty percent of the time.

Examples of bad cycling practice:

How many times have you had to ride around a moron who is riding against traffic?   Riding against traffic is the number one killer of bicycle riders, people don't expect traffic coming from the wrong direction.

Then there is the curb hugger.  Curb huggers have a bad habit of drifting out the bike lane into the curb at red lights even though there may be a hundred cars backed up waiting to turn right.  You are still in the bicycle lane waiting patiently for the light to turn green and you have allowed enough distance for automobiles to turn right unobstructed.  Usually curb huggers are weekend warriors, or worse, simpleton hillbillies who wear old shabby clothes and ride old mountain bikes or cruisers with parts dangling off the frame.  But nothing makes me more angry than to have a curb hugger with a garbage bike pass me on the right while I am stopped at a red light.  Professional cycling teams and European riders wait behind you in single file and then pass you when the light turns green, perfectly acceptable; a man does not remain Mario Cipollini forever.  But come on man, you get in my way then ride at five miles an hour, and the way the street lights are timed in this city, I pass you, then I have to wait at the light, and here you come along dragging ass; then you go around me again and park your worthless ass up against the curb.  You irritate me and you irritate the frustrated drivers who stack up behind your worthless ass.  But never try to comment on the stupidity of these fools, they actually act offended and act like they are bicycle sages while in comparison you are some sort of dolt.

Then there is the gung-ho faux pro rider who has to pass you on the road.  Nothing makes me laugh more than watching a young man sprint for all he is worth to pass up an old master like me. Listen clown, you don't have to endanger my life with a display of your cycling prowess, you will never impress me!

Then there is the red light runner.  Most street lights don't recognize bicycles; bicycles don't trigger the mechanism.  I have watched lights at clear intersections cycle through the walk cycle and reset a dozen times; but if a automobile never arrives then the cycle would repeat indefinitely.   You have two options, pitch a tent and wait forever, or run the light.   Methuselah would run the light or perish from old age.  But this is different from the idiot who weaves in and out of traffic to avoid stopping for a light.  What is most stupid about this trick is the fact that you always catch these morons at the next light even after obeying the traffic light and waiting.  Stupid.  But never comment on these people either.

Then there is the round and round.  Around and around in circles in front of the patiently waiting traffic and cyclists who are stewing in increasing frustration watching this fool show off like some sort of exhibitionist lunatic.  


I could list another thousand violations committed by bicyclists that deserves a good beating across the kidneys with a bicycle pump, but what is the point.  Stupid fools exist everywhere, that is a human trait that will never be eradicated from this planet.  But there is no excuse for cyclists who refuse to comply with or understand good bicycle practice; cyclists who endanger more lives than there own, or for cyclists who set bad precedents, or who aggravate automobile cyclist relations.  Truth, all cyclists are regarded as idiots by automobile drivers by default because of the bad behavior of a few stupids and crazies, but then again, true cyclists regard all automobile drivers as idiots because of the bad behavior of a few stupids and crazies.   


If I do not post for a while check the obituaries.  I am seriously thinking of composing a farewell message to be posted after my death, "died from injuries sustained from a collision with a distracted driver while riding his bicycle."

Have a nice ride today!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Travis Tygart: Out Of Bounds

Travis Tygart is pounding the drum for Lance Armstrong to come forward, complete with confession in hand, to implicate the duplicitous nefarious scoundrels that comprise the UCI leadership, who allegedly accept bribes in return for favorable suppression of positive dope tests.  Hein Verbruggen allegedly stuffed his pockets on numerous occasions from desperate cyclists who would rather continue to "unduly enrich" themselves rather than face arbitration hearings, suspensions, disgrace, and lack of income.  It has also been alleged that the current president of the UCI Pat McQuaid along with the current UCI executive committee endeavored to cover up this bribery scheme.

Of course, all of these issues were to be rectified by an investigation by an independent committee of highly qualified people who were expected to leave no stone unturned to arrive at the truth.  There was a question as to the true nature of the independence of the committee, however, when it was revealed that some of the committee members had affiliation with the International Olympic Committee that by implication would infer a covert effort to protect the World Anti-Doping Agency from any culpability.  Also one would wonder if the committee composed of such people would have a motive for revenge against the UCI for past skirmishes and lawsuits that were filed between the UCI and WADA during the Hein Verbruggen administration.

Nevertheless, the lack of cooperation of Lance Armstrong to come forward and blow the whistle on the UCI is troublesome considering the fact that the independent committee was disbanded before considering the bribery issue and considering the fact that the UCI executive committee has refused to take any action.  Travis Tygart is convinced that the independent committee was abandoned so that the blinders and handcuffs would remain on in order to leave the truth opaque.  Perhaps Lance Armstrong would be more forthcoming if Travis Tygart would be more diplomatic and compromise by reducing the lifetime ban he imposed with a more reasonable suspension.  However, this is unlikely to happen because then cycling fanatics could accuse USADA of employing the same sort of duplicitous tactics that Hein Verbruggen employed only in a opposite sense, bribery for information, instead of bribery for suppression of information.  This USADA method was quite successful when applied to cyclists who were more than willing to provide affidavits to implicate Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel, Michele Ferrari, et al, during the steroid era of rampant doping that allegedly occurred on the United States Postal Service Professional Cycling Team.  Indeed, USADA was not loath to bribe riders with sweetheart deals to extract "truth."  So why would USADA be reluctant to continue the trend of deals for information with Lance Armstrong, the man who could settle the issue once and for all?  Is it because Lance Armstrong refused to come forward and admit under oath that the entire contents of the Reasoned Decision was truth not statements based upon envious people with an axe to grind or upon imaginary embellishments contrived through an excess of prosecutorial zeal?  Lance Armstrong did admit to using performance enhancing drugs, but he never suggested that the contents of the Reasoned Decision reflected an accurate depiction of events.  Most people came to the conclusion that the contents of the Reasoned Decision reflected truthful accounts of events by default not through an a posteriori examination of the evidence preferably by an independent committee.  It would be reasonable to conclude that USADA had in mind verification of the Reasoned Decision by the chief culprit himself, and it is not unreasonable to suggest that Lance Armstrong would be baited into implicating himself into some sort of criminal case by careful legal maneuvering that would be revenge for the lack of a criminal indictment by the Federal Grand Jury probe.

Nevertheless, Lance Armstrong refused to accept a barren hook devoid of the worm on the advice of his attorney who scented out the trap.  After all,  Lance Armstrong would have to confirm the conclusions of the Reasoned Decision, if he refused to confirm every conclusion, USADA would call him an outright liar, deceiver, and cheat, as they have done with his denials of using performance enhancing drugs after riding with Discovery Channel in 2005.  Lance Armstrong claims to have ridden clean in 2009 and 2010, but USADA claims UCI Biological Passport data that proves doping, even though in the absence of a failed anti-doping test the UCI Biological Passport data is nothing more than a statement of probability.  Perhaps USADA was counting upon Lance Armstrong to confirm under oath that the UCI Biological Passport data that USADA had in their possession was a factual record of doping in spite of his formal denials during the Oprah Winfrey "confession," more  icing on the cake.  For years the UCI Biological Passport has been criticized as an expensive boondoggle that exposes nothing more than wishful thinking, but an admission by Lance Armstrong would be the final coup de grace to all of the critics forevermore who have the audacity to question the UCI Biological Passport and would set in stone another atrocity against the fundamental rights of athletes.

Clearly Travis Tygart should focus on his own concerns and refrain from trying to police the entire cycling community.  We all know that the UCI is a corrupt organization that should be placed under adult supervision and that the elements that promote corruption should be eradicated without constantly being reminded of this fact by USADA.  We realize that the UCI needs immediate reform and replacement of certain undesirable elements and a new refreshing approach, but we are also cynical enough not to expect miracles.  But then again intransigence, obstinacy, and a refusal to make concessions in expectation of future rewards is also the wrong approach to the problem and ensures nothing more than continual failure to achieve stated goals.  But can you reason with grandiose madmen to make them discern reason from folly?  Good luck with that.