Pro Racing is Horrible, Beautiful and Not Credible

That’s the horrible, beautiful thing about bike racing, he writes. You keep going.

Bonnie Ford’s review of Tyler’s book opens the “credibility war between two men who were teammates, friends and finally rivals.” Since Lance’s USADA non-concession concession, how he did it articles have been posted. Now Tyler’s book goes into gruesome details, including what happened when he transfused a bag of dead blood cells.

Tyler

Tyler at the USPro

The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle is available for preorder now and ships 9/12/12.

I watched Tyler win the USPRO road race from inside of a Mavic car. Noticed how he looked fresh, ready to attack again while his competitors were blown, dropped, and beaten. Near the finish with a media badge, watched while he was whisked off to a room. Asked if that was for a doping control. No. A media interview. It was then that I knew for sure what was going on in the peloton. Also an indication of the Omertà.

I noticed it. Didn’t everyone else? Ride, race with the same guys and you can tell from their body language who’s going good or not. Tyler later got busted again and his title stripped from this race. Then the 60 minute interview and now this book. I was less concerned then and now about him personally and more about the sport. The governance of it is in chaos and the pros still live by a code that’s falling apart around them.

Expect more Lance tell alls and for the Omertà to close ranks while the sport and its credibility gets even worse.

Huggacast 150: Pineapple Hospitality Seattle

Pineapple Hospitality in Seattle offers free Torker T300 bikes to their guests. In Huggacast 150, we take a ride with staff from the Watertown Hotel, one of their properties in the U District.

The Burke Gilmanm

Free bikes for guests

Watch now on YouTube or download the video file.

Subscribe to the Huggacast Feed for more episodes.

Phones

Mobile phone users can download and watch now and access our Huggacasts via the iTunes Store.

ENVE Composites: Jason Schiers Interview

enve at eurobike

ENVE at Eurobike. Good times.

ENVE sent out PR today for their Eurobike awards. They won for their 3.4 clincher rim and DH rim with King hubs. The awards are good segue to an interview with Jason Schiers from earlier this year at PressCamp. Jason and I talk about industrial design, the 3.4, and why their wheels rides so good.


On the dirt, the D-Plus is the most dialed, balanced cross bike I’ve ridden. That’s in part because of an ENVE tapered fork with a King Inset 7 headset and for dry conditions the 25s with Tufos.

Fork, 25s

Tapered fork, Enve 25s, and a Tufos for the dry days

The Bonny Scot in the Peloton

….AC/DC’s album “Back in Black”, a tribute to their former lead singer Robert Millar, would sell 50million copies worldwide, making it the second highest selling record of all time. In the meantime, Millar would go on to finish second in the Giro d’Italia (1987) and second in the Vuelta a Espana…..twice (1985 & 1986).

627260_10151063868066185_836207042_o.jpg

The Yellow Washing of Lance

Lance racing MTB

The Yellow Washing of Lance has happened over the past week with articles like this from the AP, tweets, and profound messages of support, including a shut down the USADA campaign. While a now former good cycling friend told me to F off because I didn’t profess my devotion to Lance like he does.

Lance could wear a Janus mask, as he tells a reporter he’s happy to get beaten in a race, is totally over it, and just eating burgers, drinking beer now.

There are Two Lances

There’s a Lance that exists in the cycling world where anyone within a degree of him knows someone at divisive, distinctive odds with the healing person who’s transcended into a do-no-wrong hero. People who love him see trips to visit sick children in hospital while those that don’t see him for what he’s done on the bike, including the drugs.

We have this thing with idolizing sports figures until they get torn down. The same belief system that lifted Paterno into a god-like status, is willing to wrap Lance in a warm blanket of yellow bands and feel-good, slickly marketed slogans from Nike.

This week he abandoned his team mates, an industry, and devout fans of the sport. By not challenging the charges, he’s guilty of them and some of us cyclists feel he quit the sport when it most needed him.

I expect Lance to live gloriously in Livestrong yellow, thrive, and say to his critics, from a retirement villa “how ‘bout them Apples!?”

But them apples have been pulled from a jersey pocket and tossed by the roadside. For those that believe so strongly in the bike like we do here, it was never about that for Lance.

Now he rides for those that believe in who he’s become, not who he was on the roads of France.

On Twitter

I’m sharing this thread from Twitter because of the context to the larger issue about Lance, his legacy, and our community. Livestrong has done all those things its supporters and donors say it has.

Doug and Byron

Doug Ullman and me at SXSW

What Livestrong has also done with cancer besides branding and marketing, is politicize it. If you don’t post a devotion to Lance, you’re a hater and pro-cancer. When those with yellow bands criticize those without for not believing like they do, we’re seeing Rovian-style politics at play. Absolutist viewpoints from pols teetering on the extreme.

Lance is a far more complex character than that and I hope his fans can understand the differing viewpoints. For the non or sort-of believer, Livestrong does not wash away his sins on the bike. Some, like us, are in the middle of the Lance scale of justice.

Footnotes:

  • MTB Photo by David Schloss and SXSW photo by Mathowie
  • Not sure if he coined it, but Anil Dash said Yellow Washing on Twitter last week.
  • How ‘bout them Apples is a famous Lance saying from a race, when he dropped all of his rivals and went on to win. It’s synonymous with his defiance of critics.
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