Professional road racing is a sport that should be taken out behind the barn and shot in the head. Liars, cheats and doping scandals have made it a sad, ugly joke.
The latest “big news” is that Lance Armstrong — one of the greatest athletes and biggest assholes to ever throw a leg over a bike — might overturn years of denials by admitting that he doped. He could even provide information that could help USADA with other investigations.
Once upon a time, I marveled at the vision of “greats” like Marco Pantani and Armstrong as they flew up the classic climbs of Hautacam, Mont Ventoux and Alpe d’Huez. I can’t even enjoy watching that old footage on YouTube anymore. It’s tainted. Fuck 'em all.
I choose to admire the people who ride for the sheer joy and beauty of moving through the world on a bicycle. The people who spend weeks or months touring with loaded panniers. The people who ride 100 miles and then eat hamburgers and drink beer with their riding buddies. Even the amateurs who know they’ll never win a dime, but who enter races just to test themselves and share the experience with other riders.
And, most of all, the mountain bikers who know it’s all about the brotherhood and sisterhood of a ride, and who would never pass by a stranger standing beside a disabled bike without asking if he has everything he needs.
As long as those people are out there turning the pedals, dopers can never steal the real beauty of bicycling.