SoCal junior tests positive for mid-level racing bike

December 19, 2013 § 36 Comments

Smedley Cutherbertson, a 16-year-old junior racer from Santa Monica, tested positive during a December training camp for a mid-level racing bike. He has declined to go through with the B-sample, or “secondary cost evaluation.”

“What can I say?” said Cuthbertson. “My parents wouldn’t spring for the full carbon $15k rig with Campy electric shifting and disc brakes.”

According to USA Cycling official Puds McKnocker, “We’ve never seen anything like it. Here this kid shows up for a winter training camp on a $6,000 bike. And it’s not like he has any excuses, either. He’s already been racing for two years. He should have known better. Did he think no one would notice?”

Sputum Cuthbertson, Smedley’s father, agreed to discuss the positive test result and sanctions on a conference call. “We knew what we were doing,” said Sputum. “He’s always been pack fodder, and we didn’t think that at his age this whole thing was worth splurging for a $15,000 bike that he’ll have outgrown in May.”

When asked about the sanctions, Sputum was apparently unconcerned. “Look, I know he’s going to have to spend the rest of the season being labeled a kook for showing up at a bike race with six other participants and he’ll be the only one on a cheapo bike. But we had to draw the line somewhere, and at the end of the day we’re middle class people trying to pay the bills. We’ll get sanctioned for his TT bike as well. That only cost five grand, if you don’t count the extra 2k for the wheels. They’ll pop us again for his ‘cross rig; we cut corners on that, went without disc brakes and refused to spend a penny over four grand; then his pit bike is even cheaper. We bought it on eBay for two thousand. Same for his omnium track bike; $3,000 tax, title, and license, although we upped the ante just a touch for his track TT bike — that set us back about six thou, but still nowhere near the top-of-the-line stuff that the other young children are riding. And you know what? We’re good with that.”

Sputum continued: “We’ve also refused to bundle him into the back of the van when he gets dropped on the Simi Ride, then race ahead and deposit him in front of the group so he can get back on. I don’t ride myself, but it seems like the whole point is to either be able to keep up on your own or train harder so you don’t get dropped.”

Reaction from the cycling community was swift, vicious, and of course, anonymous. A sampling of blog comments and bike forum discussions reveals the sense of betrayal.

immabighammer: “This kid is a joke. He thinks he’s gonna get taken seriously on a $6k rig? Ban him for life.”

interwebKoachDude: “We see kids trying to cut corners all the time; they learn it from their parents. Sad stuff.”

RideLikeEddy: “Fukkin little fukker ruinin our sport. Had some d-bag show up on the Doney without full carbon wheels, rode his dick into the curb teach him a lesson fucktards.”

stronglive: “He’s gonna get a pro contract exactly HOW on a dork bike like that?”

officiousofficial: “Testing works.”

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§ 36 Responses to SoCal junior tests positive for mid-level racing bike

  • John Fitzgerald says:

    This would be my kid, if I had a kid! Nicely written.

  • Club Fred says:

    When I get dropped on the NPR it’s because my bike is some no name cheapo bike. I don’t even bother training until I can afford a real bike because what’s the point?

  • John Fitzgerald says:

    Let me re-phrase that a little, my kid would be on stuff costing half as much as Smedly’s, probably steel instead of carbon, so he could crash and just pick himself up, bang the frame and wheels to straighten them out, and keep racing, if I had a kid!

    • fsethd says:

      I’ve helped my kids become good cyclists by encouraging them not to do it.

      • Club Fred says:

        Exactly. The last thing this sport needs is more n00bs and baby seals buying mid range bikes from local bike shops and taking up space on group rides.

        I once tried to pass a guy who was on a nicer bike than me and out of nowhere someone threw a stick in my spokes sending me face first into the pavement. As I picked myself up off the ground I was reminded of the rules by a group master’s racers who spit in my face as they rode not offering any help.

      • fsethd says:

        Yep. It’s a shame that more people can’t go more deeply into debt so that they can feel like they’re riding with the “in” crowd. What’s wrong with our society?

        And you really do point out the decline of simple morality. Trying to pass a more expensive bike? It’s JUST NOT DONE. Hope the reconstructive surgery went well.

  • Winemaker says:

    Memories. I think the first year and half (through the end of 1970) I raced on a bike with steel, cottered cranks (yes, that’s right). It had sew-ups, though, but it was a steel SINGLE BUTTED (read: stovepipe) frame and had a steel seatpost. The leather (hard as a friggin’rock) saddle had a steel clamp. I was too poor and stupid to know better. My first prize was two rolls of Tressostar (yes, cloth) handlebar tape (in orange). I used that, too. Now, outfitting is like buying a house, just to get your kids into it…bummer.

    When my son turned 13 I gave him a pair of running shoes and shoved him in the direction of the cross-country coach. it was way cheaper.

    • fsethd says:

      Yes, but you deprived him of the experience of feeling inferior for having the wrong brand of bib shorts. No one ever said parenting was easy.

  • Seth, you are the Ira Glass of cycling blogs. Hilarious, touching and you know how to guilt someone into paying you for free stuff! I think, though that 3 bux for your cats isn’t enough. Make it 6 a month so that you can at least get a good IPA from all of us as thanks.

  • Uncle Jam's Army says:

    My bike is worth 5K tops, and worse, I got it as a 2013 closeout. Can I be saved? What should I do?

    • fsethd says:

      I can help you bike dope. There are many ways to gussy up a cheapo $5k rig to make it look much costlier. However, the methods are strictly banned by USADA. Bike doping will get you in deep doo-doo if you’re ever busted, and most of the bike doping companies are shady fly-by-night Chinese companies. Still, message me and I will help you.

  • renagade69 says:

    1 question…ok, maybe 2…..
    Is it ok if I sit on the curb and watch everyone ride by as I sit on my 87 GT, it’s a cro-mo frame, over bar click shifters @ 3×6 speed cassette?…. but it does have anodized Araya rims…. and I promise not to interfere or pedal until everyone is out of sight.
    Is following a mile back considered “on the ride”?

    • fsethd says:

      1. Watching is totally okay, especially if you have a pained look of humiliation and envy as the group whizzes by. It’s extra-okay if you longingly say, “Hey [name of fast guy on most expensive bike]!” loud enough so that he can hear you and bask in your adulation as he ignores your very existence.

      2. Sure, just don’t tell anyone.

  • spinner says:

    Fantastic!!! I love the interviews at the end. Sounds like the guys I ride with :>

    Maybe the recently “caught” masters dopers would like to help out here. I’m sure they have a few sweet bikes to donate to the cause…

  • Fournwi says:

    I’m sure Smedley is also a bit chubby. One thing I’ve emphasized to my 10 yr old is that he cannot take his new rig out until he gets his body fat below 10%. He’s in his room right now doing burpees so he might have a chance to get out for a ride this weekend.

    • fsethd says:

      That’s right. Chisel those abs at 10 and they’ll stay chiseled for life. Unless, of course, they don’t.

      In any event, exercise isn’t for getting fit, it’s for showing how fit you already are.

  • JPrumm says:

    All I have to say is “Brilliant”!

  • ron says:

    gee, I was actually enjoying my $600.oo steel bike so much .. it does everything ..goes forward, gears change, brakes work, I put lights on it, and wear a helmet .. Is it too late for me, or will counseling help?

    • fsethd says:

      Well, almost everything — it doesn’t make up for having a tiny penis, which is the main reason we go full-carbon, electronic shifting here in SoCal.

  • jorgensen says:

    Some ancient history. When I was 13 years young and newly racing you really really wanted to have a set of race wheels, Campagnolo hubs of course, Clement Seta tires. There were a few guys who had pairs of matching bikes. A competitor with a set of matching Pogliaghis, another with a pair of Hetchins, a set of Norman Fay’s, a pair of Shorter’s. It was the Southern California “Junior” thing to do. I was self funded, and finally got my pair of bikes by working at a bicycle shop when I was 15. I will say though that the other kids’ parents did notice that I was going it alone, as I received some nice compliments from them when I won a race. As a parent now, I easily see the urge to give the young lad or lass the best available. I will check that urge and appreciate my Mom’s inability to splurge.

    It might be quite different now, I doubt a 14 yr old can get a job in a bike shop today, or any job. That is too bad.

    • fsethd says:

      There’s no way a kid can afford the equipment and kit the traditional way. However, every club has a bunch of masters who will donate lots of shit if you beg and plead and do a few races. Of course that might mean a 15 y/o girl who weighs 80 lbs. has to pedal around in an XXL bib, and the bike may be too big, etc., etc.

      I guess it boils down to how badly the kid wants to do it. Lots of the time it seems like the real enthusiast is the parent, a-la Little League, Pop Warner.

      Pretty silly that so many kids ride so much trick shit, but then again, cycling is nothing if not silly!

      • jorgensen says:

        True, but there were plenty of “little league” parents back then also. It was much easier way back to ride a bike that was essentially equal to what the pros were on. The cost was containable. Maybe now make all under 18 ride clinchers, alloy rims and 32 spokes. No carbon components. It might just being back the art of wheelbuilding.

    • Winemaker says:

      Really good reply! I did all those sports in high school, and raced my bike in the spring and summer, and I think my mom went to one baseball game in ’70, and one bike race in ’77 (when I had just graduated from UCSD). That’s it. I got exactly zero from Moms and I am glad of it.

    • David Huntsman says:

      Is that you Jon?

  • Mike says:

    Good one!

  • Frank says:

    You forgot to mention this is hi second positive. The first was in may when he tested positive for real altitude training. He was spotted in San Bernardino riding while sleeping in Big Bear. When asked why his parents didn’t go out and buy that altitude tent like all the good Orange County Juniors he was caught off-guard and confessed to committing the same USAC requirement many times over….

  • Gary says:

    Why the extra space and capital “s” in Westside?

    Having moved recently to Playa del Rey, I’ve also wondered about where the Westside ends and the South Bay begins. The Wikipedia citing the L.A. Times says that the South Bay is south of LAX and Westside is north of LAX. That makes The New Pier Ride a trans-border event in both the South Bay and Westside, plus segments in the no-man’s land that is neither north or south of LAX, such as World Way West.

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