What a great month

December 7, 2012

What a great month of cycling it’s been. No doping, no discussions about investigations, barely a douchebag tweet seeping through. For me at least.

Because while the storms seemed to be swirling around the cycling world, I decided to stick my head in the sand – literally on a few occasions – by just spending the month riding my bike on- and off-road. Where I had thought that being in Canada for the whole month would be an impediment, I logged around 1,000km (which is a lot for me) and I still have all my fingers and toes.

And you know what, I feel good about it. In the end, that’s the real cycling, the stuff you do yourself out on the roads and trails. If pro cycling can’t get its act together, there’s no reason we should feel sorry for anybody. If they do get their act together, it’s just a bonus, be it a magnificent bonus of being able to watch the best sport in the world without the constantly nagging doubts. Time will tell.

So does this mean I’ll continue to ignore pro cycling? While I like the adage of “If ignorance is bliss, why be knowledgeable”, there’s little doubt that – as the Dutch say and wonderfully inappropriate as a cycling expression – “the blood creeps where it can’t go”.

I believe that transparency is one of the biggest agents for change, so you can expect this blog to continue to make observations about pro cycling. And if some of those sometimes highlight something some of you missed, then that will be my little contribution to transparency.

21 Responses to “What a great month”

  1. Dex Says:

    Amen brother.

  2. MaLóL Says:

    well said gerard. I´m also looking forward to scape from NL flatness and log some good km’s on the hills in christmas.

  3. Brendan Says:

    Wait, biking is what it’s all about? Who knew!

  4. Evan Shaw Says:

    Gerard I had a possible epiphany! Maybe the true answer is a functional real UCI/WADA with a UNION. Most racers would never dope if they believed the field was clean, and those who would always try would be afraid, like burglars, finding few if any easy unlocked houses.

    I think the pervasive doping thing happened because there were no consequences so it attracted the worst people among us. And those who were decent got sucked into that vortex.

    Just a thought to avoid burn out. For me if they don’t change it, I will just ride my bike!


    • Well, I think we see in other sports with very strong athlete positions that there is very little (to put it mildly) interest to do anything about the doping problem (tennis, football, US pro sports). So I am not sure a union is a miracle solution.

      • Evan Shaw Says:

        You and me are totally simpatico on the union by itself mater. The entire solution is driven by riders learning that it is IN THEIR BEST INTEREST to have a non corrupt UCI, Independent WADA, and then also a union. Doping tests, access, and due process would not be on the table as it is in other sports as a matter of resisting its practice. It would be part of a set of conditions that permits athletes to live in a clean level playing field. This is a NEW vision, a trail blazing vision. CCN charter whether they know it or not has actualized this in their balanced approach in my humble opinion.

        We kneed folks like you to practice self care, avoid burn out and find a way to participate because right this very moment it appears that cycling is at a critical juncture and may pass thru clean and bold or perhaps wither and die. This view is not just mine but a number of folks with historical perspective and current savvy.


  5. Gerard whats you road bike these days? Still on the S2?

  6. Larry T. Says:

    When you know something about the problem and have ideas on how it might be fixed, it’s tough to see how ignoring it will improve things…unless you truly don’t care. Seems strange for someone who was so wrapped up in the pro scene and what it could do for his product sales to suddenly stop caring about it when the s__t hits the fan….but if it’s more about profits than sport it should be no surprise I guess? Lots of former sponsors seem to have that attitude these days.


    • Maybe any of my other 60 or so posts on the subject will give you a different opinion. Or even rereading this one.

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        Thanks for the reply. I did reread your post and have read a lot of your previous posts, which is why I was puzzled. As Greg LeMond and others have said, this is a critical time for pro cycling, sort of a now or never moment, so “sticking your head in the sand” right now seems to suggest you don’t much care, despite your claims to the contrary. I guess I’m wrong in thinking a smart guy like you would be very interested in using your position in the sport/industry to jump in and work for change? “Time will tell” suggests a “wake me up when you’ve got it all fixed boys” attitude. Nothing wrong with that, but it seems out of character for you.


        • Hi Larry, I understand your point, and I am very interested in change. I am however not sure following most of what transpired in November has any relevance in achieving it.

  7. moskowe Says:

    I like the attitude. In the end it always comes back to riding your bike, and turmoil in pro ranks will never change the feeling you get after a good ride.
    I’m impressed that you’re still riding outside. When I lived in Montreal I could never ride past the beginning of November.

  8. Luis Oliveira Says:

    Yeah, you’re right, I feel burned off by the entire think as well. Especially as no real change is apparent.

    But it’s also a shame, as you’re one of the feel engaging in this discussion here at your blog (as opposed to using it as a soapbox for your own view). Perhaps you’ll come back refreshed.

  9. hxd Says:

    Hi Gerard. Whether you like it or not. You are a leader in the cycling world and our sport requires some leadership right now. I encourage you to stay involved.

  10. Evan Shaw Says:

    thanks for all your work! will move ahead Evan

  11. Matt Rose Says:

    I went to a local CC race last month http://www.ridewithrendall.com/2012/11/4th-annual-hammer-and-anvil-a-huge-success/ for those of you that are curious. There was no money, no egos, local teams sponsored by local bike shops, mainly because they wanted to help their staff out. It was just as fun an afternoon as watching the GPCQM races in September.


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