Where do I lodge my official protest?

July 14, 2012 § 9 Comments

Dear Wankmeister:

I want to lodge a protest against guys who win a bunch of crits, especially that Charon dude. He sits in until the end and out-sprints everybody. What a big pussy. Plus, you know, there’s that OTHER thing…who does he think he is?

Krack R. Biggit

Dear Krack:

People like you make me barf. You are angry because he’s better than you are. If you put as much time into improving your own lack of skills as you do into criticizing his success, you might finish better than 43rd. But I doubt it. In the meantime, feel free to lodge your protest up your ass.

As for that OTHER thing, I can see how it would make you angry. There you were, on your nice ten thousand dollar bike with all your white friends, and then some black dude started winning all “your” races. Not just winning them, either, but winning them overwhelmingly, by multiple bike lengths. Plus, he’s such a nice and loyal guy that he’s become part of a team where everyone works for the victory, and everyone shares in the success, and no one cares about bullshit like what color the other person is.

That’s really different from your team, isn’t it, where everyone’s the designated winner, so no one ever wins, right? Where everyone’s jealous of everyone else? Where the composition of the team changes radically from year to year because everyone hates each other?

But back to the OTHER thing. Bike racing has always been a sport for white people. With the exception of tremendous riders like Nelson Vails, and one of the greatest cyclists in the history of the sport, Major Taylor, it’s been dominated by white people. When Major Taylor came to Europe and devastated the Euros at their own game, Henri Desgrange, founder of the Tour and racist, was so incensed that he demanded Taylor be paid in 10-centime pieces.

Most people who race against him could care less about Charon’s color, but a handful of grumblers and whiners and closet rednecks can’t stand getting their dicks stomped by a black dude in “their” sport.

See, Krack, here’s the thing: if you’re black in America and you rise to the top in ANYTHING it’s because you were better, and usually a lot better. Nobody ever woke up and had someone knock on the door and say, “Hey, any young black kids in here? We’d like to give them extra fancy horseback lessons or free TT bikes or a ten-year membership to the country club because they’re black.”

Doesn’t work that way. My buddy Lee, who grew up in Louisiana, finally quit riding bikes after five or six years because his family couldn’t afford tires, and riding around on steel rims just wasn’t very much fun, especially when the white kids came tearing by on bikes with tires and tubes.

If you’re a black athlete and you rip apart the competition a la Michael Jordan or Cam Newton, people say it’s because you’re “naturally talented,” i.e. you didn’t really have to work at it because it just came to you that way. If you’re a black athlete and you’re just average, or you’re projected to be great and you flame out, you’re called “lazy.” Natural talent, my ass. The Rahsaans and Charons and Justins of this sport work their butts off. Without an incredible work ethic their “natural talent” wouldn’t get them anywhere, much less on the podium.

When you’re a black dude breaking into a white sport, whether it’s cycling (Major Taylor), tennis (Arthur Ashe), baseball (Jackie Robinson), or any other job, you have to work harder, think smarter, and make the super-extra effort to improve and develop the personal relationships that underlie success, whether you’re trying to be a Supreme Court Justice, President of the United States, or world champion on the track. Show me a black guy who’s competing predominantly against white people and more often than not I’ll show you someone with far above average interpersonal skills, work ethic, and smarts.

The great thing about racing and riding in SoCal is that the vast majority of cyclists don’t care about color. We got the white dudes, the black dudes, the Hispanic dudes, the Asian dudes, and the dudes whose parents are from different races. It all works well, and for the most part color’s not part of the equation.

But when you’re blazing trails like Rahsaan Bahati, or Justin Williams, or Charon Smith, or Cory Williams, and when you’re blazing them over the dicks of white people, there will always be one or two who complain about the tread marks you leave on their tender parts. They were getting stomped before you ever came along, of course. But somehow it just hurts worse when they know you’re black.

So…

Please keep stomping.

I wuz too sweepy to wide my bicycle

July 12, 2012 § 13 Comments

The chieftains of the South Bay had called a council of war. The band of wankers in North County had sent a message through their esteemed chief MMX, a warrior of great repute, that one of the Swamis band would come to the South Bay to participate in the holy spirit ceremony known as the New Pier Ride. Although he would bring no weapons beyond his fearsome legs and slightly bulging tummy, this mighty man from Swamis would return to North County with a full accounting of the South Bay NPR.

It was a serious matter. Each mighty chieftain sat in his place around the flickering embers awaiting his turn to speak.

First to break the silence after each wanker had swigged from the holy flask of energy drink was the mightiest chieftain, the great G$. “Serious times are these,” he said, with great gravity. “Much will depend on what this warrior from the south sees here. Should he return with reports of a weak and disorganized band of wankers, these marauding and somewhat unclean barbarians from the south will be emboldened to attack us on our own ground. So say I.”

Next to speak was the mighty wankette, Suze of the Sonye clan. “Yet if this warrior returns to his ancestral home with dick a’pounded, yea, even with deep and painful imprints upon his member from the repeated and merciless stompings of our people, then will they think long and hard before sending a war party to our hallowed hunting grounds. A stomped dick is a fearsome thing, no less when given from the boots of a warrior squaw.”

The flask was passed again, and each chieftain partook. All eyes turned to Erik the Red, who calmly spat into the fire. “These people of the North County, I have seen them. A mighty warrior here and there, to be sure, and the home of the fearsome clan of SPY. But who among us has not stomped the dick of a Swamis wanker, weak of spirit, weak of leg, and childlike of lung? Who among us has not sent these miserable curs running home to lick the pussy on flat course or hilly, long course or short, trial of time or finish of sprint? Who, I say?”

The assembled chieftains nodded in assent.

The fearsome Prez then lifted his coup stick. “Hark to the shriveled penises tied to my coup stick!” he cried. “There, a tiny and dried one from Swamis, note it for its generally poor coloration, lack of vigor, and general smallness! There, a middling sized one, yet so crushed and stomped and beaten flat by the mighty stomp boots of the South Bay that it hardly resembles the organ of a man. What have we to fear from these pint-sized warriors whose members are of such smallness that their stomping is made difficult due to such tininess? Let them come! We will banish them back from whence they came!”

Fighting Squaw Mighty Mouse then spoke. “Each of you great chiefs has spoken with wisdom. Yet let us not be the first to declare war. True, these Swamis be tiny of penis. True, these Swamis be fodder for our boots, so mighty of stomping. True, their assembled force could easily be crushed as a coke can by an eighteen-wheeler. Still, have we not some benefit in welcoming this knave, and sending him home with a show of our strength?”

Josh of the Funny Accent nodded. “The fighting squaw speaks truly. Let this contemptible Swami join our holy rites, and let him return home holding his dick in many broken parts, with foreskin in tatters. But let us not depend on happenstance. Send out the signal to all among our mighty clan, those distant to the West and East, our brothers and sisters all, and bid them bring their mightiest legs, their strongest lungs, their bravest warriors to the Tuesday rites. Let this Swamis visitor return home, if he can, with memories so filled with bitterness and pain that none will dare venture forth from their unswept hovels, filled as they are with cheap trinkets and dung.”

The oath was then sworn. Each chieftain lifted her or his coup stick, decorated as they were with the tiny and shrunken scrotums of the Swamis, and returned to their respective camps.

The fatal Tuesday dawned gloomy and cool. The drumbeat had been sent out over the Book of Face, and from the farthest reaches of the county came grim-faced men and women, heroes of the iron horse, adorned with the colors of their clan, legs shining, prepared to mete out the punishment of pain. By the fateful time of forty minutes past the hour of six such giants of the road as Man of the Fires, Steve of the Bigness, Erik the Red, Holder of the Baum, Yard Full of Junk, Girl of Newness, Suze of the Sonye Clan, Davis Mike of Great Seniority, Tinker of Ringing Bell, as well as the grizzled and battle-tested ancients of the tribe including Tim of the Gillibrand, Cary the Elder, and a host of young braves eager to test the sharpness of their lances.

But, lo! As the fierce host stood waiting for the arrival of the Swami with the slightly bulging tummy, the Master of Wanks held high the Phone of i-ness. “Hearken, my fellow warriors! Your courage and resolve have been met with sloth and fear!”

With these words, the Master of Wanks read the mail of electronicity that had been sent to his Phone of i-ness. “I stayed up late last night and overslept,” read the message of the Swami. “I will try to make it next week.”

Howls of laughter and ridicule cut the early morning air. “Knocker of puds!” called one.

“Dick of microscopicity!” howled another.

“Perfect emblem of Swamidom!” cried several in unison.

With great mirth the host rolled forth, another epic New Pier Ride to be told around campfires for ages to come.

New SoCal pose training camp for 8/13/2012

July 11, 2012 § 7 Comments

Upcoming event for SoCal racers: The First Annual Pose Training Camp for Bike Racers

When: 8/13/2012

Where: CBR Dominguez Hills Crit Course

Time: 8:00 AM – Noon

Instructors: Charon Smith, Rahsaan Bahati, Rich Meeker, Cory Williams, Dave Perez, Justin Williams, Greg Leibert, Thurlow Rogers

Participant Ability Level: Pretty low

Fee: $8.00

What You’ll Learn: Nothing is more important than the pose you strike when crossing the finish line. Whether it’s a first place finish or a well-earned 48th, friends, family, and the event photographer will be on hand to watch you conquer that 45-minute (or less) epic battle with fate. Tired of scrolling through those event photos only to find pictures of yourself with your head drooped over the bars, tongue lolling out, eyes crossed, and shoulders hunched in defeat? This training camp will help you find the best pose for your scrapbook so that you’ll look striking and stunning and championish after you’ve Photoshopped out the fifty or sixty people in front of you. You’ll leave this seminar able to do all of the following poses:

“The Godzilla”–Charon Smith will arc his massive arms and show you how to growl as if you were actually good enough to leave the competition snarling and snapping for second…without falling down!

“The Vaporglide”–Rahsaan Bahati will help you master the look of crossing the finish line at 50 mph while stifling a yawn (even though you’ll only be doing about 18 and weaving your way around that ten-man Cat 5 pile-up)…”Yo, was that the line? Shoot, I was just gettin’ ready to sprint…guess I didn’t really need to.”

“The Bricklayer”–Rich Meeker will demonstrate how to make your finish line pose look like the gnarliest manual labor since Dog invented the post-hole digger. Rough, serviceable, workmanlike, this is the look for every wanker who’s wanted to outclimb, outsprint, out time-trial, and outsmart the competition just like Rich…but simply can’t.

“The Jet Set”–Cory Williams will lay down the pose that made horizontal, black-striped socks famous. This is the pose when you want everyone to not just marvel at the fifteen bike lengths between you and second place, but at your sockwear as well. You’ll still look stupid in your Texas flag socks, but with your legs at the right angle you might look 1/10,000,000 as cool as Cory. Might.

“Rican Pride”–Dave Perez will illustrate the color-coordinated finish line pose that blends together terribly ugly colors that only look good when they’re going so fast you can’t see them. As an added bonus, he’ll teach you how to tell the barista your name is “Rico Suave” after ordering your double-white chocolate-soy-milk-decaf-raspberry-herbal-tea-frappucino.

“I Don’t Think He’s at this Race”–Justin Williams will provide participants with multiple ways to cross the line in such a way that people won’t even know you were at the race because you’re moving too fast to see. Wait, this might not be the pose for you because, you know, you’re so fucking slow that you got dropped by that fat dude with the triple chin.

“Happy You’re Dead”–Greg Leibert will introduce the smiling finish pose where everyone will think you’re a nice guy even though you just decimated the best racers in the state and gave them a dick stomping they’ll never forget. You’ll learn to say “Good job!” to the catatonic wanker who missed the last turn and launched headfirst into the fry-0-later inside Pepe’s Burrito Wagon.

“Wake Me When It’s Over”–Thurlow Rogers won’t teach you shit, other than to get the fuck out of his way. He doesn’t give a good goddamn how he looks crossing the line…as long as he’s first. Which, by the way, he always is. The take-home from your session with THOG is this: First place always looks good.

Bonus instructional: Learn why bright colors on your shorts (white, red, yellow, green) create highlights along the contours of your dingaling so that everyone can see each bump, ridge, and vein in that shrimpy li’l feller, and why black-colored shorts do a great job of hiding lots more than road grime.

Can I be your fucking wanker cunt?

July 10, 2012 § 18 Comments

It’s hard to come back from a pleasant vacation in Palm Springs after enjoying the 116-degree daytime temperatures only to find that I’ve been out-vulgared, and by a tweezly Brit bicycle rider, at that. As a kindergartner at Galveston’s Booker T. Washington Elementary School (since razed), I learned early the proper pronunciation and application of profanity. If you could have seen how proud I was when I finally mastered the high-speed phrase “cocksuckinmotherfuckinblueballedbitch,” you would have thought I was the cutest little six year-old you’d ever seen.

Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t rested on my laurels. I’ve worked hard and diligently these past decades to never slack off on nastyisms, crudification, and profanizing in every possible way. Need someone to say something foul and detestable in the presence of ladies? I’m your guy! Looking for an uncouth spewer of obscenity in a formal setting? Call me! Casting about for a dude who can overtrash the gutteriest filthmouth? That’s me. It’s always been me.

Until I happened to go off to Palm Springs for a vacation I didn’t even need only to find that the leader of the Turdy had given an interview laced with uglyisms and profanity of the worst sort.

The word “wanker”? I thought I fucking OWNED it.

The whole idea behind Brad Wiggins in this year’s Turdy France was that he would re-establish order in the peloton and earn back the loyal flock that had wandered a bit since Drugstrong’s heyday. He’d do drugs, but not enough to detect. He’d beat the snot out of everyone, but wouldn’t Simeoni-ize them. He’d get a stacked train of doped up stars to control the peloton, but wouldn’t let the 300-lb. sprunter dude win an Alpine stage.

We’d ignore that he’d never, ever shown himself to be a Turdy contender. We’d ignore that he trained in secret, in a place where the testers couldn’t arrive unannounced. We’d ignore that he was chalking it all up to hard work (“I’m on my bike. What are YOU on?”, etc.) Most of all, we’d let the bigtime fanboys like Bill Strickland, Joe Lindsey, and the other pitchers of softpoop get their pabulum machines cranked up so the “industry” could get back to what it does best: selling shit to fat people that they’ll mostly never use.

The whole idea, however, was NOT that Wiggo, or Wig Out, or Earwig, or Wiggster, would appropriate MY favorite pejorative and then make it even more awesome.

In case you hadn’t noticed, the word “wanker” was mine. It wasn’t yours. It wasn’t hers. It wasn’t theirs. And it sure as hell wasn’t Bradley Wiggins’s. Do a Google search for “wankmeister” and your hard drive will go limp with hits, so to speak.

Doesn’t matter now, though. No matter how hard I blog, and tweet, and holler in the future, Wiggy will forever own “fucking wanker” because he paired it with “cunt.” Put ‘em together and you get “fucking wanker cunt,” which is just about the most awesome vulgarism ever, bigger than spermface, even, or clithead. It’s that big.

Going big, then going home

The power in a true obscenity is only released when it boggles the mind. As a child, I still remember the first time I heard “cocksuckingmotherfuckingblueballedbitch.” I was six. It was my first day in kindergarten at Booker T. Some kids were talking trash. My brain ground to a halt. “Cocksucking,” I thought. “Is that what I think it is?” Then I listened in amazement as they repeated it. “Motherfucking? Is that what it sounds like?”

A stunning concatenation of images that weren’t even images filled my head as everything went blank. Then, dimly, “Blueballed” rambled in through the haze. “Blue balls? What are those? Mine are white.” I realized that it might mean someone had whacked you so hard in the nuts that they turned blue, like getting a charley-horse. “Wow, that’s gotta hurt.” And then, finally, like a gentle ending at the coda of a great violin concerto, “bitch.” Such an ordinary word…except that everyone knows bitches are girls, and girls don’t have balls, so this is a bitch with blue balls!

That moment when your mind smashes against a powerful obscenity, something truly fitted to make your brain twist and writhe and grapple, that’s the moment you know you’ve hit pay dirt, and that’s what happened the second Wiggsy unleashed “fucking wanker cunt.”

Imagine! “Wanker,” an ordinary enough piece of slang that makes you think of some chubby dude with a hairy navel locking himself into a public restroom stall, combined with “cunt,” a somewhat rough word that, however, can be made slightly less so by adding a “-y” on the end, as in, “Can I have a scoop of chocolate, a scoop of cunty, and some sprinkles mixed in?” tied together with the ordinary enough “fucking” so that it all seems to hang together until…wait!!! Wanker is a man! Cunt is a woman! A woman wanking! A man cunting! Tied together with fucking!

“BRAIN LOSING POWER! GIVE ME MORE POWER MR. SCOTT!”

“I CAN’T CAP’N, SHE’S GIVING ALL SHE’S GOT, IF I ASK FOR MORE SHE’LL BLOW!”

“MORE POWER, MR. SCOTT! THAT’S AN ORDER!”

“SHE CAN’T TAKE ANY MORE, CAP’N! SHE CAN’T!”

And there I’d still be, stalled in permanent brainlock with Mr. Sulu, Lieutenant Uhura, Mr. Spock, and Captain Kirk on the profanity bridge, if my phone hadn’t rung and knocked me out of the infinite obscenity loop.

What this means for the Tour

In addition to p*wning the snot out of Cuddle Evans in the time trail, Wiggsy took the time to explain that he “can’t be doing with” us fucking wanker cunts  because it “justifies their own bone idleness.” Now hold on just one danged minute! Did he really say that he can’t “do” us fucking wanker cunts because of our bone idleness?

If I thought Wiggly taking ownership of “fucking wanker cunt” was astounding, the minute he accused us Twitterers of bone idleness, well, that just ended the discussion. Me? Having an idle bone? If he’d send me his mobile number I’d show him “idle.” Idle like a warren of rabbits, pal.

This dude just went from bottom of the poopstack to the top of the heap in my book. He wants to be big dog of nasty language? Take it away, Bradley. This is a chapter in Turdy France history that you will truly get to write on your own. The rest of us will be trailing, helplessly but awed, in your wake. The Tour de Curse is yours by a mile.

And it couldn’t happen to a bigger wanker.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the pharmacist’s…

July 9, 2012 § 8 Comments

I fucking love Lance. Just when you think he’s dead, washed up, over and done with and fodder for the worms, he rears his nasty, snarling, ill-tempered face and, like the king zombie from the universe of the undead, proceeds to gnaw the testicles off a few hundred pasty-faced, terrified anti-dopers and their lawyers, all the while spitting out body parts, adjectives, and principles of constitutional law quicker than Brad Wiggins can say “cocksucking wanker.”

Back on the treadmill

Drugstrong’s latest move, “the best defense is to kill everyone” offense, recently crapped onto the federal docket in Austin, has predictably polled the only two responses possible in the War of the Ride for the Roses, which promises to last much longer than its British namesake.

Response One: “Bad ol’ Puddy Tat!”

Response Two: “Nut(s)!”

As an attorney, Drugstrong’s legal theory has at least one fascinating, and frankly indisputably sound legal dimension, a dimension that, although complex and somewhat hard to explain to the thirty or forty Americans who don’t yet have a law degree, can best be summarized thus: “You pay my legal fees I’ll file whatever the fuck you say to file, and I’ll do it on the double.”

It’s an old rule of law, rooted in the 11th Century Olde English case of Pudthucker v. Shanks. And it’s the one rule of law that ain’t ever fucking gonna change.

Please don’t tell me you’re bored with Lance

No one is bored with Lance. It’s not possible. He’s got the Story That Has Everything. Sexy starlets. European drug connections. Mysterious doctors named after legendary racing cars. Big-time Hollywood mouthpiece lawyers. Cancer. Epic sports success. A rags-to-douchebag tale of the American Dream. Cancer. Divorce. Jilted sexpots. Test tube babies. Seven yellow jerseys. Cancer. General badassedness that makes a champion fighting pitbull look like a lapdog.

“Okay,” you say. “So I’m not really bored. I’m just jealous that he got to ball the Bobbsey Twins while I was out here racing business park crits in Topeka. What about his federal court filing, Wankmeister? Isn’t this just too much? He’s striking at the very heart of anti-doping. He’s trying to bring down everything that we’ve fought for since Festina! Say it isn’t so, WM! Say he’s gonna lose!”

I’ll say nothing of the sort. What I will say is that Lance is proving that the most basic underpinnings of our constitutional system of law work perfectly. Here’s a quick review for those of you who slept through US History.

  • Principle One: If you have enough money, you can fight anything and win.
  • Principle Two: If you don’t have enough money, you are hopelessly fucked.
  • Principle Three: There is no Principle Three.

Please quit being cute and tell us about the law, Wankmeister!

Sigh. I lawyer for a living. Do I have to do it here, too?

…um…no…

I don’t!

International Riders Union announces Turdy France protest

July 6, 2012 § 12 Comments

The international organization representing the world’s professional cyclists, or CPA, announced today that it would boycott the remainder of the Turdy France unless the organizers, WADA, and the UCI immediately cease the unannounced “Higgs testing” that began July 4 of this year.

With CERN’s confirmation of the existence of the Higgs boson, or “God particle,” the World Antidoping Agency simultaneously announced that it had developed a “Higgs test” to determine the presence of the boson in human stool samples. Since the development of an effective test for EPO, physicists have observed that it was only a matter of time before lab testing caught up to what is known in the pro peloton as “Higgs doping.”

Questionable performances

According to Peter Higgs, who first theorized about the existence of the boson in 1964, “It’s quite simple, really. The boson allows multiple identical particles to exist in the same place in the same quantum state. Think about it. A Higgs doper could, by injecting bosons into the bloodstream, allow multiple red blood cells to exist in the same place at the same time. A 49% hematocrit could be packed with three times the official reading’s worth of red blood cells, but never register as elevated.”

When asked if he thought that boson doping was in fact occurring, Dr. Higgs chuckled. “Of course it is. Brad Wiggins has been visiting the Hadron Supercollider in the off season for the last two years. The boy’s dumb as a box of biscuits; d’you think he’s hanging out to brush up on his calculus? That’s the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator, and I think it’s clear he’s been climbing into the chamber and having them shoot bosons up his ass for months.”

Rider outrage at midnight testing

Mark Cavendish, reigning world champion, strongly disagreed with Dr. Higgs. “Fuckin’ dumbass,” said the typically blunt-spoken Cavendish through two feet of gauze from his latest finish-line crash. “We ain’t takin’ no fuckin’ bosons up the ass. We’re fuckin’ bike racers, not particle physicists.”

Jonathan Vaughters, admitted doper and anti-doping advocate, has sided with the cyclists. “The problem we have isn’t with the anti-boson doping programme. Gosh, I’m even willing to let them use the British spelling for ‘program.’ The problem is that these Higgs tests are highly invasive, are carried out late at night, and negatively affect the riders’ performance the following day.”

Adds admitted doper and anti-doping advocate David Millar: “Yeah, mate, that’s pretty much it, ey? Y’crack out 200km in the Tour and just as yer fallin’ asleep, some lab tester in a radiation suit comes in and wants to ram a supercollider tube up yer arse to check yer bunghole fer bosons? C’mon, ‘at’s bloody bullshit. Time they get the Higgs prod outter yer arse, yer wide awake, y’know? Then yer fuggin’ arse is so sore the next day y’can hardly sit on the saddle.”

Last-minute compromise in the works

UCI president Pat McQuaid dismissed the likelihood of a rider walkout. “Bunch of pussies, they’re always complaining about something. Radio bans, traffic furniture, preferential treatment of stars, riders getting killed or catastrophically injured, whatever. Back in my day we made five quid a month, slept on rock beds, sodomized each other between races, and was damn glad to have even that. Bottom line is that if they’re Higgs doping, we have to get to the bottom of it. And there’s no truth to the rumor that the UCI received money for a new supercollider from Team SKY.”

Jean-Patrick-de-Tuileries St. Pou-pou, director of merchandising for the Tour, was more circumspect. “We believe that we will be able to reach a compromise that satisfies the needs of all parties to not suffer another shameful doping scandal. There may in fact be a ‘two-speeds’ peloton, which would explain why the French riders are no longer in the top one hundred. But one cannot be certain.”

Wankmeister predicts all future Turdy France stages, ever

July 5, 2012 § 11 Comments

I rarely envy the brilliance of others. I figure they worked hard to achieve it, and they were lucky enough to pick the right set of parents, and so they deserve all the glory it reaps.

Sometimes, though, someone says something that’s so profound and amazing that it changes forever the way I see the matter at hand. Take a minute and read this post by Captaintbag.

It’s elegant. It’s eloquent. And like Einstein’s theory of relativity, it reconciles a whole world of disturbing contradictions into a single, comprehensible, unified whole. Upon reading Captaintbag’s simple formula, my first reaction was that “all is now revealed.” My second was envy. My third, disciple-like, is devotion.

Stating the problem

Cycling at the amateur and professional levels has always been riven by two irreconcilable principles. The first is that cycling is sport that should therefore be played according to rules and penalties that apply to all. Sticky water bottle? $75 fine. Blood bags from Dr. Fuentes? Two-year excommunication to the golf course.

The second principle is that winners are deities.

When principles collide

These two principles lead to contradictory phenomena. Fairly applied rules means that cheating will not be rewarded. Deification of winners means that they will be deified, even if they cheat.

In the Newtonian scheme of things, sporting ethics were a constant. The quality of an athlete as a disreputable winner who cheated, or as an honorable loser who played fairly, or as a deified winner who played by the rules, could be determined by the application of immutable sporting ethics as codified by the rules, which themselves were tweaked over time to ensure that new types of play (freakish tt positions, EPO use) comported with the unchanging ethic.

Yet none of it worked. Heroes like Anquetil plainly said that doping was a necessity. Though punished for his refusal to take a dope test after smashing the hour record by having the record stripped, he remained a hero to many, even an honorable one for his refusal to lie about the demands of the sport.

The golden era of cycling, from about 1995 to 2005, was one of superhuman accomplishment driven at the point of a needle. Those most worthy of honor in that pantheon, giants like Hincapie for his record participations in Roubaix and the Tour, stand tarnished. Honorable heroes, yet tarnished cheats.

The Captaintbag theory of relativity solves all

Simply put, the Taintbag Theory of Turdy Tawdriness states that the Tour is a spectacle. Indeed, this is merely a modern restatement of Henri Desgrange’s founding principle, that the Tour is nothing if not an excess.

Sporting ethic has no role in the Tour other than as a pliable handmaiden to the brutish demands of spectacle. The Tour, as Taintbag’s formula expresses, is bloody athletes tangled in barbed wire, drug scandal, horrific crashes, noble sacrifices on cruel Alpine slopes, tragic deaths of children run over by the publicity caravan, voluptuous divas smothering sweat-drenched riders on a blow-up podium, car crashes, motorcycle crashes, snow, ice, rain, unbearable sun, cheating, lies, chicanery, backdoor deals, stage wins bartered and sold like used cars at a swap meet, and everything done on a global stage before thousands of reporters while broadcast to hundreds of millions and commentated by clowns named Sherwen, Liggett, and Roll, characters as outlandish as their outsized, drunken egos.

This, according to the Taintbag Theory of Turdy Tawdriness, is the Tour. It is not right or wrong, good or bad, hero or villain, fair play or foul. It is the violent and bloody and greedy and dollar-soaked and testosterone drenched hand-to-hand combat of crazy puppets, laughed at and cried over, loved and reviled, held tightly and discarded in disgust like just another condom whose duty is done.

Enjoy the taint. Decry the taint. Long live the taint!

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