Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

17 February 2009

Stage which ___________gets his oughts

We took some time out for fun. Are we not men?

What a bunch of degenerates.

A Good Time was had by all at the Santa Cruz stage. Somebody won it, I'm sure. It was chaos from where I stood. All's I know is, I had a firme grip on my youngest as the cars/peloton zipped by.

Another thing I know is: the way in which Lance Armstrong is portrayed in the hype surrounding the ATOC is disturbing to me. The terms "Immortality" and "Redemption" are loaded as hell. And not in the Good (stagger around and compliment all your friends on their fine life choices) way. Lookit this box of chalkhanded out by the LAF before the race. Are you kidding me? As much as the sheep need a shepherd Lance is no Jesus. While acknowledging that he has never been convicted of doping despite numerous tests, I must admit that I personally think he is on some future space meds that maybe 1.6 cancer research scientists even know about. However you feel about Armstrong's culpability in regard to doping it's got to be apparent that he is comfortable holding up cancer as a catch-all with which to deflect criticism. Nope, I can't be ________, I had cancer! Witness the exchange with Paul Kimmage making it's way around the web.

Heroes can only stay HEROES if they stay perfectly still. The giants of the past all took whatever was available at the time. Look at Coppi, Anquetil, Merckx. Why does the modern dope seem so much uglier?

I truly love the history and pageantry and epic scope of road racing. It means alot to watch those feckless hardmen leave it out there on the pave, knowing in my own bones how hard that must be- we've all given some fraction of that suffering a go. That suffering speaks to us. What it tells me these days is that the Glory and Power are not worthy. The admiration for winners solely because they win is tepid and dissatisfactory. Admiration bordering on worship is sickening.

For whatever reason we are how we are as cyclists, and it is a sport that elevates suffering as a Virtue. I'll take my suffering personally, thank you. Meted out in bike sized doses alone or with fellow penitents, voluntary suffering somehow offsets the little defeats of the everyday. I don't require a scapegoat or a master. What seems valuable to me is the ride.


Little_Jewford said...

"The admiration for winners solely because they win is tepid and dissatisfactory."

Someone once told me I'm very French is that I love those who struggle, but never win. Maybe its because I appreciate the struggle, the process, more then the victory. Maybe its because I always loved the underdog, the person I felt was maximizing what they were giving, even if they know they will never be #1.

I've already spieled oh how this reflects on my views of doping in cycling (or any sport) and how we relate to our "hero's" (including an old comment on homeboy BJM) see:

but specifically with the whole Armstrong untouchable and unquestionable thing I found it interesting that most media outlets (including VeloNews, surprise) didn't mention Kimmage getting in this last word (from

Kimmage got Thursday's last word in what will be an ongoing battle.

"You don't have a patent on cancer. I'm interested in the cancer of doping in cycling. That has been my life's work! I raced as a professional and I exposed it. Then you come along and the problem disappears."

Did Lance make an incredible comeback from cancer, remold himself as a cyclist (most people forget that), dominate the hardest stage race in the world and become a true inspiration to millions touched by cancer, including good friends of mine, yup, and I think in that sense he has been a leader.

Do I think he has been a leader in cycling in a sense that he has spent some of his capital to pressure the sport to be cleaner and value fair-sportsmanship (in terms of doping)? Absolutely not. You can argue if its his job, but I don't think its arguable that he has not been a leader in this sense.

Though it doesn't center on doping, I highly recommend reading "Lance Armstrongs War"...very well written and a interesting peek (and only a peek) into the Armstrong camp. I'll reserve my opinion on how it left me thinking about Armstrong...but if you've read it, I'd be interested to see what you all think.

Tom said...

I don't watch the Tour. Today's Tour de France, like any major sporting event, is an overblown freakshow that exists primarily as a venue for advertising. Advertisers want to sponsor winners, not sufferers. If performance-enhancing drugs are necessary for these desperate souls to secure their livelihoods, let them at it.

If Lance decides to exploit his cancer (not to mention the collective feeling around cancer) to get a leg up, I'd call that a ballsy move.

I appreciate that there are those, like the upstanding Mr. Kimmage, who lament the degradation of professional sport. There are others who appreciate the contradiction of a phrase like "professional sport," and so the circus has little bearing on their enjoyment of their own pursuits. If you want purity in sport, that's up to you and your friends.

Do not opine to me about the superlatives or the history. These things are remote and pointless. Tell me what YOU did this weekend, what YOUR achievements and milestones are, because it's something I can relate to. That's why I read about what Dick and Dan are up to, and couldn't give a shit about some asshole's press conference, where he says nothing in HD.

We don't need another hero.

We don't need to know the way home.

All we want is life beyond the Thunderdome.