Well, I suppose about every cycling related blog, website, and publication is abuzz about the meltdown at le Tour today. The bombshells keep coming and the situation is beyond belief at the moment.
I'm not going to get into the details of what happened here. You probably have read it several times by now. What I wanted to comment on is the fallout. What this looks like to me.
You may know that I had declared that I wasn't going to get into watching or following the Tour this year, and for the most part I haven't. This situation is so outlandish though, that I did check it out somewhat. The whole mess is so far out there that a cycling friend of mine exclaimed last night, "It's crazy!" Yep. That's about all you can really say about it now.
For the future I just don't see much chance for pro road cycling to recover from this, at least in the near term. Bewilderment as to what's really going on has reached a point that sponsors are pulling out and media is refusing to cover cycling. The thing is, all of this, as depressing and sad as it is, shouldn't stop anybody from enjoying your bicycle(s).
It's like this: while you may not know what's going on in the Tour, or understand the actions of riders and organizers, you do understand the feeling of sprinting for that stop sign, for riding that favorite route, or for cleaning that daunting technical section. You probably know pain intimately, being out of breath on a regular basis, and the sound of the wind rushing by your ears is sweet music. Why let the uncontrollable actions of a few high profile cyclists, team leaders, and race promoters sully that for you? Get out and ride your bike!
Go for as many rides as you can. Ride with friends, ride in races, or ride alone. Get on with what is real about cycling that you know and understand. Let the rest of that nonsense play itself out on their stage. My "stage" is my next big ride, and I'm not going to worry about doping controls, media leaks, or about who's going to get fingered next. I don't care about it anymore. I'm going out for a ride.
Here's to cyclists that ride for the love of it everywhere. (Yes, a few of you are professional racers) I raise my bidon to you all! Let's ride!
Midweek film; Jeff Jones; A Man and his Bike
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