Monday, 27 August 2012


If I had more time to think about it, or was getting paid to do it, or was just generally wittier, I'm sure I could come up with a Private Eye-style mixing-them-up joke about the two Armstrongs, and the fact that each of them made big news on consecutive days; both for wrong, but different reasons. You know the sort of thing: "Armstrong says 'I didn't dope....I walked on the moon using only adrenalin'", or perhaps "It's one small step for man...because the rest of the peloton were at it already..."

I'm not though, so I'm going to have to content myself with a paragraph on Lance. What's my angle? After all, everyone else seems to have one. Well, my angle is that I think this is a bigger issue to the wider sporting but non-cycling public than it is to cyclists. There are certainly the die-hard fans and the Lance-haters in the latter, but I don't think most of us care that much. Why? A few reasons. First, it doesn't surprise us that much, if you take his refusal to defend himself against the charges as a tacit admission of guilt. So many of his competitors failed doping tests and/or were banned for that and other reasons, it doesn't astound us that he was at it too. Second, it already feels a long time ago now. He and his competitors were the last generation of cyclists; we've got a new bunch to excite us now, and quite a few of them are British, which might create a parochial reason for our apathy. Third, although there are a few pro-wannabees out there, I would say that the majority of us aren't inspired to ride our bikes because of what we see any particular pro doing - yes, we admire them, yes, we want to ride the roads and classic climbs they do, but not because they in particular have done those things; we know we'll never be as good as them, and we know that where they ride are some of the best places to ride. Ultimately, we ride because we love it, not because we're trying to emulate someone else, so if they're proven to have cheated, particularly if it was a long time ago, well, so what?

Not that I'm riding my bike very much at the moment - I've got a week pencilled in at the start of October in Brittany to ride and run, principally to build fitness for my ultra-marathon later in October, the training for which is going ok.  The bank holiday weekend has helped of course, plus an unexpected day working from home on Friday, which has meant I've been able to train 4 days on the bounce for the first time in ages. Over the 4 days I've run 42 very hilly miles, without too much trouble. I did discover yesterday however when I was out on some rocky trails that I probably need some appropriate running shoes for the trails - road shoes felt a bit flimsy, comfortable as they are.

And finally.......the latest in my series of rants against misuse of the English language. I let the odd faux pas slip past uncommented on, but when I see something 3 times in the media I can't help myself. The latest abomination is saying/writing that something is "imminently sensible" (as opposed to eminently of course).  Grrr - it's like saying something isn't sensible at the moment, but hold on a sec.....just wait a it's sensible now...hooray!

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