Created in 2006, a satirical lifestyle cycling blog aimed to promote Ohio Valley Cycling, Trail Advocacy and Junior Development written by Joe Bellante, a racer for BioWheels in Cincinnati and freelance writer who's work has appeared in Velonews, XXC and Cyclocross Magazines. Thanks for reading.
It looks like a good day to stay off the internet, said pro rider Adam Myerson on Facebook. I don’t blame him. Facebook lit
up with the language of Lance this morning.
I was aghast at some comments.
However, having a communications background, I’m a good listener with a very
long fuse. So far, two co-workers
kiddingly popped in my office to make sure I was doing okay. Cute. I
genuinely laughed out loud at a friend’s post that read something on the order
of, “I think I overheard someone say Lance is now stripping.” Chapeau!
A nice twist on words. I rolled
my eyes at another post showcasing an autographed yellow jersey and the
caption, “$20 OBO.” Laughter is the best
medicine. Thank goodness it’s not a
banned substance because today we need all we can get.
All kidding aside, I told my coworkers I feel a bit
empty. The emptiness comes from knowing
the outcome before it’s happened. As
cycling fans, we know where this road leads.
Under a thick cover of trees it’s dark and foreboding. However, even with the front end sliding out
on gravel in a corner, you keep your hands on the bars hoping the rubber grips
ground for a miraculous save. Right now,
your knee is instinctively augering outboard.
We know it’s a matter of road rash or a broken collarbone. Lance chose road rash.
It’s still going to hurt.
It’s hard to watch. We’re still
peeking between our fingers.
Some of My Other Cycling Heroes
In bike racing there are things you can control and those
you cannot. We learn, we strive to
perfect what’s in our control and quash what we can’t. We lube chains the night before the race and
never, ever, under any circumstances do we make mechanical changes before a
race without riding the bike. We kick
ourselves when hindsight shows we could have prevented a mishap. We throw up our hands and say “that’s bike
racing” when riders two rows in front of you fall and take you out with them. For better or worse, today’s news is bike
We can’t control what comes next. So, like Lance, I’m throwing up my hands and
saying I’m done with this nonsense. I’ve
had it with this BS of stripping titles, taking back medals and negating record
books. I too am disgusted with the after-the-fact
reshuffling of the deck. Lance is
right. It is absurd. Either someone wins at that moment on that
day, or they don’t. The guy standing
atop the podium after the final day of the Tour De France should be the winner,
cut and dry. Riders want to win when they cross the finish line on the bike, not 10 years later on the phone. Lance contends he knows who won
those tours. In a perfect world, he’d be
right. "Ce qui est fait est fait." What's done is done.
You can curse the USADA’s and UCI’s procedures. You can say Lance passed all the tests, gave
them everything they asked, played by the rules and is clean, by
definition. That’s all that matters
right? Or, you can look for the crack in
the pavement and insist that somehow he was able to beat the system, but is a doper. One thing is certain, if we
keep this up, we’ll be saying that for the rest of our lives.
I don’t want to live that way. I’m not going to continue to beat a dead
horse. I think its obvious UCI, USA
Cycling, USADA, and WADA need to change.
So do riders and promoters. They
need to make sure the guy they hand the trophy to is the winner. I can’t do that. I’m not part of cycling’s governing
body. I’m a guy on my couch with a
remote control in one hand and a beer in the other.
Sometimes Being A Fan Isn't Easy
I love banging the couch cushions and hiding my eyes between
my fingers. I love watching riders make
miraculous cyclocross saves through the grass of a switchback. I love seeing guys get mercilessly spit out
the back on long arduous climbs. I love to
watch riders pick themselves off the pavement and close the gap. I love the lead-out train as much as the guy
who beats it. I love bike racing.
Lance did what he thought was best for him. My opinion is to take is his advice. Whether you’re a cycling fan or part of
racing yourself, do what’s best for you.
Go ride your bike, enjoy the wind in your face. Ride hard.
Ride long. If one day you’re
faced with a choice, make a decision you can live with the rest of your
Right now, as a fan, my decision is to continue to
cheer. However, I chose to no longer be crushed
days, months, years later that the riders involved were doping. Hopefully that will change. Till it does, I will watch races, ring
cowbells, shout “Allez” at the leader and call it a day. Fin. Game over. I'll turn my back having enjoyed another bike race and not care about it anymore. I got what I came for. It’s no different than turning off the TV at