November 5th, 2012
This sounds very fun and very cool:
Primal Wear brings you Denver's First Ever Urban CX Race, Ever. Not the suburbs of Highlands Ranch or Castle Rock, not Golden, not Boulder, but right smack in the middle of Denver. Mile High Urban CX Chaos (MUCCY) is a one of a kind event in Colorado breaking ground in a truly gritty urban metropolitan environment: graffiti, warehouses, construction, train tracks, abandoned tires and empty lots.
They had me at "Not the suburbs of Highlands Ranch or Castle Rock, not Golden, not Boulder . . ."
So, in review, why race MUCCY?
- It is the first and only truly urban, full category, sanctioned CX race in Denver(Bronze Level in the Colorado Cross Cup)
- It is building the first adaptive CX course
- Lagunitas Brewing Co. is providing the beer with the proceeds to benefit BikeDenver. The Lagunitas Beer Garden will be at the Fat Bros. Bar & Grill - they will open at 8am and have some amazing breakfast burritos!
- There is an opportunity to help build bikes for kids with Project Re-Cycle
- It is a great group of individuals and companies that have come together to celebrate the cycling community in Denver
Needs a better name though.
November 5th, 2012
Trouble is, Padraig and the cycling press didn't share their beliefs about Lance with the rest of us. Not only didn't the press tell us Lance was a doper, most writers didn't support those telling the truth about Lance and, worse, some actively helped demean and discredit those Lance's critics. (I discussed Padraig's post here, contrasting it with another writer who appears to have some remorse about the press's behavior.)
A fair reading of Padraig's "The Cynic" post is that, after struggling a great deal about his role as cycling writer, Padraig decided not to write about Lance's doping because Padraig was a) frightened of Lance; b) wanted to keep working as a cycling writer; c) figured he would pretend that the peloton was clean as long as the UCI didn't do anything; and/or d) figured that Lance "should" have success (scamming the public?) because the UCI was inept.
I suspect that Padraig didn't expect the response his post received. (Padraig deserves credit for posting the unfavorable comments and repeatedly responding to them.)
A few commenters aren't happy with Padraig or the cycling press. One commenter, Evan, reminded Padraig that not telling the whole truth is a problem:
[N]ot speaking the whole truth and nothing but, one commits moral turpitude. This was hard, perhaps the hardest thing in my life to face as I have lived a life serving others often at great peril to myself. I almost always prevailed, changing occupations rather than not speak out. . . .
Only you can know truly why you choose to stay a journalist and be silenced. None of us have the right to judge you nor tell you why.
I disagree with Evan a bit: Padraig has told us why he chose "to stay a journalist and be silenced." (I've listed what Padraig told us about that above.) So, we know and can comment on Padraig's reasons -- but that's a mere quibble.
Trouble is Padraig still doesn't understand why his readers might be angry at the cycling press. And, as to his own culpability, whether large or minuscule, Padraig is having none.
Although in "The Cynic" Padraig describes himself as "wrestling" with what Lance's doping meant to him since he was making a "living writing about cycling," he responds to his critics with by saying that he, "really wasn’t writing about pro cycling at all."
Had I been writing about pro cycling much during that Armstrong era, I might have done things differently. The fact is, from ’99 to ’02, I really wasn’t writing about pro cycling at all. From ’03 to ’05 I was publishing a lifestyle magazine and covering pro cycling wasn’t part of its editorial mission.
I confess I'm puzzled. If Padraig wasn't really writing about pro cycling or couldn't write about it, what was all his anguish/concern/cynicism about? If he was not writing or couldn't write about pro cyclists, who cares if he cynically treats dirty cyclists as clean cyclists or cynically believes Lance should be successful? Why should we even credit his opinion from back then about the UCI's enforcement efforts? We care about those things only if Padraig could have written about Lance but refrained.
I don't think Padraig wanted us to take away from his post that Padraig was out of the pro cycling loop, wasn't really writing about pro cycling, and couldn't have written anything about his belief even if he hadn't been so cynical.
His response to his critics is hard for me to square with the original post.
November 1st, 2012
Ed Ruscha, "Safe & Effective Medication." Image from Ikon Ltd. Fine Art. This is the painting that Hal Epsen found hanging prominently on Lance Armstrong's living-room wall during a 2005 visit.
Today two journalists discuss their knowledge of Lance's doping, and why they didn't tell their readers what they knew or suspected. Hal Epsen's piece at The Atlantic, ?How I Enabled the Cult of Lance Armstrong,? is a reflection on Epsen's role, while he was editor of Outside magazine, in creating and maintaining the Lance Armstrong myth. Epsen acknowledges his naiveté, credulity, and now, his shame. The second, by Padraig at Red Kite Prayer, aptly titled ?The Cynic,? is a curiously unselfconscious description of Padraig's reasons for remaining silent about his belief that Lance was doping, discouraging investigation of Lance, and dissing Lance's most-prominent critic during the great Lance Armstrong scam. At first glance, both pieces appear confessional ? efforts to fess up to individual failings, as well as the failure of the cycling press to tell the public the truth. The first is exactly that. The second however, is not. Let's start with the second. On first read, Padraig appears to acknowledge his complicity in Lance's scam:
I need to admit to you that it's been a long time since I thought Armstrong was a clean cyclist.
Sounds good. Padraig has been writing about cycling a long time and believed that Lance was doping. He's going to apologize for failing to tell us the truth. But if you thought Padraig was going to apologize, you'd be wrong. Padraig's "admission" isn't an admission at all ? at least he's not admitting he goofed. It's actually a bit of rhetorical jujitsu -- a bit of self-aggrandizement disguised in the language of a confession. Padraig is telling us that he wasn't a credulous dupe like the great mass of U.S. cycling fans and Lance lovers. He knew more. He knew better. He just didn't tell us.
October 31st, 2012
Lance still denies everything, so today I am officially launching the "Lance Mea Culpa Watch," to chronicle (with my usual total absence of diligence and zeal) Lance's fall from grace.
I think, after years of being forced to listen to Lance fanboys rant that I was a tool of the French/Italian/Satanist/Lemond/Communist/Anti-Hero cabal for trying to discuss evidence that Lance doped, I am entitled to gloat a bit.
Or a lot, actually.
When Lance admits he doped and apologizes, I shall stop smirking at Lance and his dupes. (I'll begin pondering how much money his "rehabilitation" will extract from the next round of rubes.)
Tonight, South Park reacts to being duped by Lance Armstrong:
Rocked by the recent news of drug use by a beloved icon, the world is left feeling lost and betrayed. The boys, join with the rest of the nation, and remove their yellow wristbands.
The English town of Edenbridge will burn Lance Armstrong in effigy:
Edenbridge in southeast England has built a nine-metre model of Armstrong, who was stripped recently of his seven Tour de France titles for doping offenses.
The effigy, to be burnt Saturday, sports a sign saying "For sale, racing bike, no longer required.''
In Australia, Adelaide is changing the city's locks:
Adelaide city councilors voted 6-1 today to strip Armstrong of the key to the city, making him the first of 33 recipients to have the honour withdrawn.
- Even though Steamboat, Colorado's Honey Stinger is partly owned by Armstrong, the company recently announced it was in the process of removing Armstrong's image and endorsements from its products.
May 20th, 2011
From the NYTimes:
On Thursday, in a report on the “CBS Evening News,” [Lance's team mate Tyler] Hamilton said he had seen Armstrong inject himself with the banned performance-enhancing drug EPO to win those Tours. A full interview with Hamilton will be broadcast Sunday on “60 Minutes” on CBS.
“I saw him inject it more than one time,” Hamilton said. “Yeah, like we all did. Like I did many, many times.”
The evidence was there but gullible people didn't want to look at it.
February 10th, 2011
The most damning part of the recent Sports Illustrated article on Lance and doping (article summary) is the news of unexplained high T/E readings in three of Armstrong's urine samples between 1991 and 1998. Those three samples tested at ratios of 9.0, 7.6, and 6.5. According the SI article, before 2005, any ratio above 6 was considered abnormal. Since 2005, ratios over 4.0 are considered abnormal.
Don Catlin, whose lab reported the high T/E readings, has responded to several parts of the article.
As to the abnormally high T/E ratios found in three of Armstrong's samples, Catlin doesn't explain those results but attempts to put them in perspective.
Catlin says that two of them are not so high that failing to find similarly high results in the B samples would not be "unexpected." He says it's less likely for the sample that showed the highest reading:
It was not an unexpected occurrence to have samples with screen T/E ratios between 6.0 and 7.5 not confirm. It would be less likely, however, that a sample that screens at 9.0 does not confirm.
Not exactly a ringing defense. "Not unexpected" is much different than "happened routinely enough that it was probably an error." And, Catlin's view of the 9.0 reading seems even more jaundiced.
Even with the added context, the results provide more support for the conclusion that "Lance doped" than the conclusion that "he never touched the stuff."
June 12th, 2010
The investigation into allegations made by Floyd Landis against his US Postal team-mates is continuing to gain pace, with an experienced federal prosecutor being appointed to the case.
Assistant US Attorney Doug Miller will now work alongside the Food and Drug Administration criminal investigator Jeff Novitzky who, like Miller, was involved in uncovering the BALCO affair.
. . . It is rumoured that Lance Armstrong’s ex-wife Kristin is one of those who is co-operating, but this has not been confirmed.
Among other things, Kristin would be able to confirm or dispute this part of what Landis wrote to USA Cycling:
I was instructed on how to use Testosterone patches by [U.S. Postal director] Johan Bruyneel during the During the Dauphine Libere in June, after which I flew on a helicopter with Mr. Armstrong from the finish, I believe Grenoble, to San Mauritz Switzerland at which point I was personally handed a box of 2.5 mg patches in front of his wife who witnessed the exchange.
Obviously the Department of Justice has been infiltrated by anti-Lance Frenchmen.
June 11th, 2010
Johan Bruyneel, managing director of the U.S. Postal Service cycling team while Lance was winning seven straight tours, was recently questioned about by police about doping by his current team, Astana..
Bruyneel is directly implicated in Landis's recent disclosures about U.S. Postal's doping program, too. Bruyneel is mentioned a couple times Landis's April 30 e-mail to USA Cycling CEO Steve Johnson. The whole thing is worth reading.
Here's a bit I haven't seen reported:
2004 - Again the team performed two separate blood transfusions on me, but this time Bruyneel had become more paranoid and we did the draws by flying to Belgium and meeting at an unknown persons appartment and the blood was brought by "Duffy" who was at that time Johans assistant of sorts. The second of which was performed on the team bus on the ride from the finish of a stage to the hotel during which the driver pretended to have engine trouble and stopped on a remote mountain road for an hour or so so the entire team could have half a liter of blood added. This was the only time that I ever saw the entire team being transfused in plain view of all the other riders and bus driver. That team included Lance Armstrong, George Hincapie and I as the only Americans.