Friday, December 27, 2013

2014: The Golden Age Of Cycling?

Have cycling fanatics become like swine who rather than submit to an exorcism to expel demons would prefer, like Ostriches, to bury their heads in the sand pretending to be invisible, oblivious of reality, follow herd mentality, and rush off a precipice into the sea in a fit of mass hysteria?  Sure enough, the hard core cycling fan cannot or will not abandon the sport; no matter how dismal the circumstances may appear.  But this aberration clearly does not apply to the fair weather fans, who are only interested when an American hero has a chance to win the race.

Back in the day there were large numbers of people gathered around the television to watch the Tour de France, and the race was on all day long.  In 2013 the television was tuned elsewhere, there were no requests or desire to watch the Tour de France.  Professional cycling has become European, British dominated rubbish of highly dubious value, the source of this British dominance is hugely suspect.  To investigate the source of this British success seems beyond the power of the regulatory agencies.  But when  Americans test positive for performance enhancing drugs they have their titles taken away, our heroes are always banned for life, zealously hounded, while Europeans who are guilty of similar crimes receive the Ostrich treatment; a small slap on the hand, new contracts and unlimited future racing opportunities.  The credo among the Euro zone; ignore everything and maintain omerta.  Honestly, it is proven that Jan Ullrich used performance enhancing drugs, to claim otherwise is nonsense.  Has Ullrich's title been erased, was he suspended for life? 

Back during the days of Marshall Walter "Major" Taylor, the greatest track cyclist of all time, the velodrome  was packed with over a hundred thousand rabid American fans. American fans ruled the track cycling  world. But with the invention of the automobile, and race fixing by professional gamblers, cycling has faced hard times in America.

So what are we left with, a bunch of jaded fans who have become callous to everything including dope?  Imagine Marshall Walter "Major" Taylor these days killing fools on the track, imagine if you will the accusations and recriminations that would issue from the mouths of self styled evangelical narcissistic perfectionists.  The man is too perfect to be of biological origin, the power equation is impossible sans dope. Oui? I am sure Major Taylor suffered enough from the culture of the day as to the question of his biological origin; but to include probable doping as the reason for his outstanding performance would have been the final coup de grace!

Oui?  But as a human species we have evolved!  Yes.  No longer are people treated differently based on ethnic origin.  The playing field has been leveled.  All men are created equal thanks to the eternal diffusion of knowledge and acceptance of the philosophy of diversity.  Hypocritical reasoning will be abandoned in favor of sound rational reasoning, especially in cycling, our holy sport.  Never again will cycling be besmirched by foul greedy opportunistic cheaters or their facilitators.  Some of the facilitators, sadly, also pose as agents of governing bodies; but in future men who are in positions of power espousing flowery rhetoric, men who engage in under the table sleight of hand and accept bribes to falsify laboratory test results; will be detected, reformed, or removed.  Never again in the utopian world of 2014 will there be greed, avarice, bribery; all will be abandoned in favor of the moniker of "fair play."  Riders will actually win races based on superior physical ability not upon the cocktail of performance enhancing drugs they received during training and racing.  Indeed, punishment will be meted out in a non-discriminatory fashion and apply equally to everyone regardless of national origin, persona non grata will disappear, athletes will be granted the same due process rights as the prosecution, and athletes will always be afforded an opportunity to defend themselves.  2014 onward will be regarded as the Golden Age of Cycling with beautiful riders adorned in festive colors riding through scenic splendor, athletes who will be adored by admiring fans who know that the golden boys and girls who compose the peloton can resist temptation and compete fairly. The podium girls will shine above all with their angelic goodness.

Impossible dream?  Depends upon you and me too, dear reader.  We can take some initiative or continue on as obsessed swine who pose as Ostriches with buried heads; rushing off the precipice in a suicidal plunge of self deception.

Meanwhile, see you on the teeth chattering, bone chilling descent, baby!


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Doping: Cycling's Vicious Cycle

Don't ask me to repeat myself again.  You, dear reader, know that the sports world and cycling in particular is saturated with cheaters and dopers who will venture all for greed and fame.  The golden fleece awarded to the winner of the Tour de France is as addictive to some people as the endless accumulation of money is addictive to a Wall Street Banker, and is characteristic of our worthless genetic constitutions as human beings. The degree of doping of sport is certainly driven by monetary considerations where cycling as a profession seems to wane in comparison with Baseball at least in America; but the disparity even though absurd is equaled in some degree by sponsorship agreements.  Think of what Lance Armstrong did for Trek bicycles!  Trek doled out millions of dollars but made much, much, more!  U.S. Postal made a mint too considering the pitiful contribution made to cycling; whom most Americans before Lance Armstrong would not even consider a legitimate sport!

Phew!  Why bother with stupid summations and comparisons, except to state that Lance Armstrong was treated in the most disgraceful fashion by Travis Tygart and the United States Anti-Doping Agency.  Seems like the anti-doping crusade is as addicted to wealth and power as much as the cheating athletes!  Stripping Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles was an excessive abuse of prosecutorial zeal, certainly, and deterred whom?  Probably no one on Team Sky who don't have to worry about a fourteen year personal vendetta from Inspector Javert; but if they were under his jurisdiction instead of Brian Cookson's, things would be different!  Because like Inspector Javert, Travis Tygart would rather drown himself in the Seine rather than to shirk from his civic duty!  This endless police obsession with bringing the criminal to justice after fourteen years of futile effort reflect as much madness on the part of the police as on the criminal.  But fame and notoriety are addictive, who doesn't want to be remembered as a legendary crime fighter?  The poor sport of cycling is suffering from a surcease of embarrassment from these obsessional vendettas, never fear.  Those who were responsible for cleaning up the sport showed an incredible amount of ineptness and let the cancer fester; when with a little initiative they could have circumvented this whole sordid doping plague in the bud!  But, there is still time to strut like a peacock years after the fact when the patient is terminal and facing certain death. But then again if you happen to be stuffing your purse with gratuities why not turn a blind eye to the obvious.  After all there were plenty of allegations swirling around and plenty of finger pointing.  But rest assured with the new administration we can all expect a speedy resolution and ruthless purge of the offending persons even if it happens to be ten years after the fact!

But don't expect any empathy from me, criminals or police, you both belong in the pantheon of cycling shame, a pox on your houses!  As for the intimidation of the riders in professional races, Bernard Hinault makes Lance Armstrong look meek in comparison; but back in the good old days the riders took it on the chin like men and did not run off like cry babies to the anti-doping agency confessional booth.  But someone has to be patron and rule over the peloton and win the race; and being patron does not include being a timid man.  This concept is an unwritten rule of cycling, understood by all.  It is hypocritical to include this behavior as reprehensible when it has been the code of conduct in professional races since Maurice Garon.

So stop the whining.  You ever been bullied and dumped in a ditch for refusing to comply with an order from the patron?  You ever had the patron bridge the gap and order you to drop out of a breakaway?  This sort of behavior is infectious and reinforcing especially when the target is an introverted, nervous man.  Nevertheless, there has to be some sort of discipline with in the pack or there would chaos, mayhem, accidents, and injuries in abundance.  Mavericks who take dangerous chances are not acceptable players.  People who whine about being kept in check need to consider another profession, there is no use in acting like a spoiled child expecting preferential treatment.  If you guys don't respect the sport you are so naturally gifted for, then go drive a long haul truck like Iban Mayo!  Honestly, I can't figure out how the group would even want to ride with you whiny losers, let alone have you on their teams!

Enough!  2013 what a year, phew!  I was expecting improvement and full disclosure by this time.  But instead of immediate action, we see endless procrastination, excuses, denials, failure to communicate, idiocy, and stupidity.  The UCI is a joke, even considering the recent house cleaning, and without immediate reform will continue to be a source of buffoonery.  But don't expect miracles unless you are using performance enhancing drugs!  Fear not!  Even though you are generating amazing amounts of power on climbs up the Pyrenees cols and dropping the entire peloton, friends are watching your back!

It is endlessly the same old thing over and over again!