And so we have a bit of a discord in cycling these days. This is the reason I've started this morning with the definition (one of many) of IRONY.
Whatchu talkin' 'bout Willis?
Well, for ME, it's more than a bit ironic that a lot of the righteous indignation being levied at LA, USPS cycling, et al, is coming from folks whose entire frame of reference for cycling began sometime between 1999, and the date that the first Lance Armstrong reports began to trickle out.
And you know, that's fine, but possibly a little misguided and self-serving. Are those folks trying to convince you and me, or themselves?
Cycling has a long, rich, beautiful, dirty, and tangled history. Drugs have ALWAYS been a part of this history. Google "pot belge", "Tom Simpson", "Six Day racing", or even the GoAT..."Eddy Merckx". Yes, my friends, Eddy got popped not once, but TWICE for doping. 1969 Giro, and 1973 Lombardia.
A lot of things that happened decades ago are borderline unbelievable. Makes Lance's pharmaceutical operations seem almost tame by comparison.
Once some knowledge is gained, and the frame of reference grows from wallet-sized to mantle-sized, it's easier to see that this is just an epoch in the history of cycling.
If one wants to aim ire in a direction, aim it at ALL of professional cycling. LA and his boys weren't the only ones doing the dirty. And truth be told, a lot of it should be aimed at the UCI. Those guys knew everything that was going on. The guys who got popped in this period? Sacrificial lambs...nothing more. They served their penalties and were welcomed back with open arms.
It's a bit like this scene from Casablanca...
Hell, some of the practices were so out in the open, it was hard to miss! I have a Pantani poster in Service Course. In said poster, Pantani has a cotton ball taped to the crook of his elbow!!! And before you say... "...probably from the drug testers...", be aware that they don't test BEFORE THE STAGE!!!
Does this affect people? Sure. Be mad. Be indignant. Fire off emails. Boycott brands. Whatever makes you feel better. Just know that it's always gone on, and it's not likely to stop anytime soon. Proof? the 2012 TdF was the fastest in history...and supposedly clean. Uh-huh...
Just remember, if you're a TRUE fan, you'll be back...
Fun ride in Camden on Saturday...except for the whole "I sucked and felt like shit" part. Of course, the first 4 miles of the ride had much to do with this.
Hoping against hope, I thought that MAYBE the group would just roll out for a while, then the gauntlet would get thrown down. Nope...still my turn.
First mistake...starting in the waaaaay back.
Out of the parking lot, the pace went from "ah, what a wonderful, cool morning" to "why is my HR 170 and we're 7 minutes into this ride?"
I could make myriad excuses, but they would all be little more than lip service. I'm not built to go hard from the gun. I chased across to the lead group, got Jasen Clutts up there, and promptly blew up in a spectacular shower of suck sparks. Bye-bye front group...
A small group gathered up and rode together for a bit, then it was just Il Prof and myself. No matter. It was a good ride, big fun, and different. I never did feel good on the ride, but still knocked down 101k w/o drama. I'll take it.
Sunday greeted me with dead everything, but I kitted up and me the bunch. We rolled out into LexCo for a leisurely 80km. My legs and back were less than pleased with me. It was a perfect morning for a ride, so it was all good!
I rolled home, ate, got showered, and headed to the corn maze with the Management Team. Walking through a corn field really felt superb! But, time with Junior Management is time well spent!
It's 0830...time to get the day started. Much to do before I blow out for DivaCamp on Wednesday afternoon.