A Confession from Lance Armstrong Will Just Speed Cycling's Downhill Slide

Categories: Schutze

SHZ_GetOffMyLawn_TitleImageV2.jpg
We assume Lance Armstrong will confess tonight to some part of a years-long juicing conspiracy while head of the U.S. Postal Service bicycle racing team, so we can anticipate at least a few more days of intense conversation about Armstrong. But what about bicycle racing?

What is its future? The trajectory of the sport right now is unmistakable and ineluctable. On its current course bicycle racing 50 years from now is slated to become a bunch of monstrous steroidal muscle-balls pedaling 4-ounce space-age contraptions as fast as they can while whacked on dope.

Will we still be watching? Of course we will. When did we ever stop watching anything because it was gross?

LanceArmstrong.jpg
In fact cycling can only get more gross. The inevitable competition to top Lance Armstrong's grossness as a media star will turn all of them into professional wrestling cartoon characters with names like Abdullah the Butcher, Angel of Death and Andre the Giant.

Tell me. Do you think I'm wrong? Do you see cycling headed in some other direction, more like dressage or yacht racing? Explain to me how that happens.

A couple months ago The New York Times published a devastating graphic showing that since 1998 more than a third of top finishers of the Tour de France have either tested positive, admitted to doping or been sanctioned by an official cycling or anti-doping agency. And, sure, you could tell me that shows the agencies are really on the prowl, fighting hard to keep the sport clean. But how's that working for them?

Seems to me we could change the name of that particular race to the Tour Toxique. The competition could be to see how much of the pharmacy you can shoot into a guy's veins and then have him peddle real fast uphill without croaking. In fact, isn't that pretty much what it is today?

Bicycle racing has always occupied a sort of iffy niche in the world of true sport. Early champions in the 19th century, guys like Louis Chevrolet and Albert Champion, moved from Paris to Detroit at the beginning of the 20th century when Detroit was still called "The Capital of Speed" and the nascent automobile industry was covered by the press only on the sports pages.

Chevrolet and Champion both ditched bikes as soon as they saw cars, because it was all about going fast more than being an athlete. Ever since then cycling has been a sort of illegitimate child of mechanics and athleticism. And what the hell. So is yachting. People can do whatever they want with their time when they don't have to work for a living, right?

But the fact remains that some sports are just uglier and stupider than others, and what conclusion can be drawn from tonight's bathetic explosion of disgrace except that cycling is and apparently will continue to be one of the worst, one of the ugliest, only getting more grotesque as every new day unwinds?

Remember this. Lance Armstrong is only confessing because he intends to get back into it. Apparently he has struck some kind of grisly plea bargain agreement by which he will get time knocked off his so-called lifetime suspension by ratting out even more people in even higher positions in the sport. So what I'm asking is this: When this is over, is it even possible for the sport to sink any lower or get any worse?

You know the answer, of course. Yes. Where human failing is concerned, there is no bottom. And maybe ultimately that's a good thing. In fact maybe that's the metaphysical purpose of it all. A half century from now when the oceans are simmering, even cats and dogs are extinct and we all have cancer, we can watch bicycle races and think, "Well, at least we're not that bad."

My Voice Nation Help
26 comments
bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

So, Jim. When's the big rowing scandal about to break?

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

Apparently it's okay to dope yourself and then lie about it if that keeps you in the game and makes you go faster or hit harder. And besides everyone else is doing it. Least that's the idea I'm getting here.

BobLowlaw
BobLowlaw

You mean like drugging admissions have destroyed football and baseball?

jeneheffer
jeneheffer

Everyone is so alarmed that a well known athlete lied and cheated. Really?  I would suggest that all the different sports all do their share of cheating, that just like  politicans.  In spite of the unethical behavior, I find it extraordinary what feats are accomplished in sports. 

G_David
G_David

You can take the word cycling out of this article and substitute it with any other sport in the world that requires speed, strength or stamina.  It's the world we live in, and it's not changing any time soon.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

How can you expect the delivery cyclists for Jimmy Johns to stay off the sidewalks when the Downtown "Safety" Patrol cyclists won't?

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

With Lance Armstrong stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping, simple logic might suggest that his runners-up from 1999 to 2005 would just inherit them, right?

Nearly all of the Texan's second-place finishers had their own issues, cases, admissions or suspicions about drug use or cheating at one point or another.

http://tinyurl.com/8vw7j26

Ian Gregory
Ian Gregory

Does Sir Bradley Wiggins look like a doper?


russell.allison1
russell.allison1

Even if the Tour is populated with a bunch of guys who are full of exotic mixtures of chemicals, or getting topped off with a pint or two of extra red cells or huffing on an albuterol inhaler for a mythical asthma diagnosis it doesn't diminish the accomplishment for me.  Riding 2200 miles on a bicycle in just about 2 weeks at speeds that average around 30 miles an hour is extraordinary.  Hell, my ass has a hard doing 20 on the exercise bike.  I think you have to allow that even if they weren't cheating you'd be watching some of the best athletes in the world.  Now, to the motivation-I sense that Lance, being the savvy media customer that he is, has seen an opening where he can out himself and his methods ( that were so successful that he can truthfully say he never tested positive, conclusively) and be seen not as a cheater, but the knight on the shining Trek that comes riding out of the sun to save the sport.   

ruddski
ruddski

Does this mean it's ok to run those freakishly-dressed, doped-up  goobers off the road?

observist
observist topcommenter

Exactly.  Because of all the monstrous drug-addled genetic freaks, cycling will never again be the hugely popular entertainment/media industry it once was, and the multitudes of relief-seeking cycling fans will turn to football, basketball and baseball.

jeneheffer
jeneheffer

@BobLowlaw On the contrary, football and basketball makes millions or trillions even if the athlete s are found to be guilty of drugging, as lomg as there are winning scores.

russell.allison1
russell.allison1

@ruddski you can't run them off the road, but you can point and laugh hysterically at the fat 40-somethings that think that possessing a road bike makes them look good in spandex.

Tom434
Tom434

@ruddski Not in Dallas, remember we are suppose to be nice to them.  On the plus side maybe this will put and end to the movement to make bike lanes out of all our streets

RobertStinson
RobertStinson

@observist You're kidding, right? If anything, cycling and racing will increase in popularity. It is one of the few sports/recreations where you can easily participate competitively or recreationally. You can spend a lot of money on your ride or not. You can dress like a racer/buffoon or not. Plus, we have spent a lot of money accommodating cyclists. Pathways like the White Rock Trail are one of the things that make Dallas semi-tolerable.

observist
observist topcommenter

@JimSX @observist  They're all on Adderall - nothing else could explain the surplus of attention paid to a geriatric cruise ship game.

James080
James080

@observist @RobertStinson  

Just proves what I've always said. People who ride around wearing colorful spandex suits while disrupting traffic flow have no sense of humor. 

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...