Friday, May 21, 2010

Doping, my butt

Well, that was an interesting day in the bike-racing world.

Midway through the most exciting Giro d'Italia in years over there, and an exquisitely exciting Tour of California over here, Tour de France champion-not-champion Floyd Landis distracts us all with an announcement that he really did dope, and Lance Armstrong doped, and most of the pro cycling world doped, and that the sky is blue.

I live in Michigan. The sky IS blue. Some of the time. Other times, when the sun is coming up or going down, it's the most stunning magenta you could ever hope to see. Most of the time, it's somewhere amid some indefinable, vast gray area, which brings us back to Floyd Landis' moment in the scud.

Landis may have something important to say, but after several years, millions of dollars and a treasure of his fans' trust spent vigorously claiming exactly the opposite of what he's spilling now, which isn't a lot different from what we've heard before and not, to my knowledge, backed up by any real documentation, I don't see him finding a lasting audience.

Am I part of the problem if I'm already losing interest?

It's too big for me to attack, and too depressing for me to assimilate. I choose to deflect. And today's Frazz turned out to be nicely timed. The world doesn't need to know who makes it to Paris with the lowest aggregate time as much as it just needs to get interested in riding bikes at all. The people who need to get interested in bikes don't care about blood boosters, or hematocrit levels or testosterone patches. They don't look at a 3-week bike race and marvel at the racers' watts-per-kilogram ratio or VO2 max. No.

They ask, "Don't their butts get sore?"

If Landis could answer that, people would listen. And since the answer is yes, whoever finds a drug that fixes that is cycling's first billionaire.


Jim Smith II said...

Well said Jef, and a great comic for Bike To Work day (if only Seattle would cooperate with that idea).

I actually feel a little sad for Floyd (and donated to his defense fund some years back), he didn't get what he wanted and decided to try and deflect from himself by claiming (without documentation) that everyone else was dirty too. What a sad little man he's become...

Lars Larson said...

A very big question I have is this: As the emails indicate...IF OUCH had been allowed to ride in the ToC...would Landis have gone public?

Kendall said...

Thanks! You've said what I'm sure all of us have been thinking. Whatever Landis has to say, it isn't going to change the fact that I genuinely love to ride my bike.

La Professora said...

Of course, some people have it easier when biking to work: dedicated bike lanes are a plus, especially if the lane is longer than a bike length.

As for Fraud Landis, I agree that he chose now to go public in order to gather attention away from the current Tour de California. Team Radio Shack published the emails sent to argue in favor of Landis riding for the team for the Vuelta de EspaƱa.

runwithken said...

I share your (dis)interest in the Landis revelation.

The Tour de France is a marvel, and I applaud the skills of the athletes in the peloton...

...but I have more admiration for the guy on an old beater riding to work solo every morning with a pannier on his bike and 3 or 4 blinky lites on his helmet and his body. He rides to work every day, winter and summer, and HE'S got no domestique to hand him a bottle of water or a panini!

Please keep up the great daily comic strips, and this blog!

Aud said...

The drug that fixes a sore butt while keeping riding fun does exist, but it's not legal in the TdF... it's called a recumbent :-)