Glory roll call

July 17, 2012 § 5 Comments

Notes from the Bay

Will he bring it home?
Last year’s 45+ state road champ and this year’s runner up, Jeff Konsmo, is gunning for national glory in Bend this year. Spotted atop Via del Monte this morning at 6:00 AM, he’s in climbing mode and looking for a stars-and-stripes jersey to join his Vlees Huis butcher knife on the mantel. We’ve got our fingers crossed!

Will HE bring it home?
Charon Smith celebrated his 12th win on Sunday, handily smacking the shit out of a stacked field of contenders. Is there anyone in the country who can beat him? We’ll find out at nationals, when Charon heads north to put together all the moving parts of what has so far been a fantastic 2012 campaign.

Emissary from the Clan of the Swamis
Stephen Lavery got up in San Marcos at 4:00 AM, left at 4:30, and joined us for this morning’s NPR at 6:40 sharp. He promised to take word back south confirming that our little morning beatdown is in fact a beatdown. He made an honorable showing on behalf of the smurfs–noted! He also extended an invitation for a cultural exchange program, whereby emissaries from the South Bay travel to North County to partake of their Tues/Thurs rites. The offer has been accepted. Details to follow.

The pros are different from you and me
Jelly Belly pro Sergio Hernandez has been in town this week, and in addition to stomping dicks at the P/1/2/3 race in Carson on Sunday, he showed up on the NPR and blistered everyone’s balls, even the girls’. Then, because he is a cool dude, he hung out on the bricks, drank coffee, and signed autographs. Wish you’d come back to the South Bay, Sergio!

Heal up, guys!
Local tough guy Mike Davis, Sr., down in a crit when a wanker who wasn’t even supposed to be in the race smashed into him from the rear (head down sprint style), leaving Mike with road rash and a busted frame. Heal up! Rahsaan Bahati, recovering from a procedure that sounded gnarly in the extreme. Heal up! Heal up! Dave W., recovering from tough neck surgery that’s going to have him back at 100% and Going to the Front!

Super tough gal of the week
Suze Sonye throws down with the P/1/2 race in Carson on Sunday, all 80 minutes of it. How impressive is that? She never missed a beat, except for the couple of times she drifted back to the rear to encourage me. Same props to the other couple of chicks in that race. Guys were frying and popping off the back right and left…not Suze! Oh, and to the douchebag who told her to “get out of the way”: you are a douchebag. Just sayin’.

Some people
Rich Meeker won another state title on Sunday, another crit, and put on another clinic of “how to ride against 100 wankers and win.” I need to FB him and find out how many races he’s won this year. He’s a lock for nationals, crit, or the road. You heard here first what everyone already knows. Oh, and Rich was very cool when I mixed up him and Malcolm Hill in a photo caption, but hey, it’s not my fault. I’ve never actually seen either of those guys, or anyone from Amgen, from the front.

Hero in our midst
Chilling at the back of the 45+ wankoton I got to work on my taxes and chat with Keith Ketterer. If you’re in SoCal you probably know that he recently set the hour record for his age category. The hour record…incredible. But he’s still modest and nice enough to chat with a wanker who mistakenly called him “Roger.” Story coming soon on this amazing athlete and all-round good guy.

Drugstrong denies doping, accuses accusers of “fibbing”

July 5, 2012 § 19 Comments

De Telegraaf dropped an evening bombshell, just as we were all wrapping up a long day of July Fourthing and holiday ride badassing, in which USADA named the five heretofore unnamed witnesses to the Lance Drugstrong doping case. The five are Jonathan Vaughters “We Fired Rasmussen Today for Doping Violations,” Levi Leipheimer “Been Busted Before, Will be Busted Again,” George Hincapie “Could 17 Tours Be Wrong?” Dave Zabriskie “The Vegan Doper,” and Christian Vande Velde “Needles.”

Drugstrong fired back immediately. The combined press release from his attorney Bulldog Jones, his press agent Smarmy Goodfellow, and Timmy Dinkins, Cancer Survivor, is printed in full below.

Lance Drugstrong is the most tested athlete in the history of sport. With the exception of the drug tests that he has failed in the past, he has never failed a drug test. Drugstrong has built his career on creating awareness of, and hope for, cancer victims.

It is with profound regret that Vaughters, Leipheimer, Hincapie, Vande Velde, and Zabriskie have chosen to sell lies under threats from USADA in exchange for sweetheart deal doping bans. Drugstrong has raced with each of these athletes, put them on the map so to speak, and made them profoundly aware of cancer. Due to the despicable witch hunt propagated by USADA, these former friends have chosen to become cancer lovers and tell fibs about Drugstrong.

Drugstrong has been tested more than anyone ever, and as a cancer survivor himself and cancer awareness benefactor promoter, it is absurd to think that he would ever subject himself to the risks of illegal doping just to win seven straight Tours and become a millionaire and global celebrity who boinked one of the Bobbsey twins and Sheryl Crowe, whose ass, by the way, was so flat that when they had sex his one good ball kept hitting  against the sheets.

Lance Drugstrong intends to clear his name and to vindicate his reputation among the fans who don’t care whether he doped, and to aggressively defend himself on Twitter.

  • Power Tweet #1: I refuse to be distracted by @usantidoping‘s antics. It’s 2012, I’m gonna continue to lead @LIVESTRONG, raise my 5 kids, and stay fit!
  • Power Tweet #2: I’m gonna keep saving lives!
  • Power Tweet #3: Thanks to all my cancer supporters! I’m there for you 24/7!
  • Power Tweet #4: Have any of my followers out there ever been to prison, and do you know if they generally have a pool?

Wankmeister introduces…Mr. Trolliam Stone!

May 5, 2012 § 4 Comments

When you throw your line out into the Internets, hook baited with cycling commentary, you’re sure to land a few strange fish. You know, the one-eyed, glow-in-the-dark, cadmium-soaked bottom feeders who subsist on post-consumer waste, manganese nodules, and the decay of higher life forms that have died, decomposed, and drifted to the deepest, darkest, depths.

And then there are the really weird ones.

Mr. Stone, who seems to go by “William,” “Billy,” and “Reverend,” is something of an enigma. People who know him well have described him as “crazy,” “has to be the belle of the ball,” and “one of those people who has convinced himself, after reading a couple of books, that he is really, really smart.”

William Billy Reverend, then, without further ado, in his own unedited words…misspellings, malapropisms and all…

“If you middle name is discretion then is your first name two words, Fuck Bag or just one jumble BagFuck?”

Will.I.Am(not) engaging in some clever verbal jousting.

“Well just go screw yourself. Your only achievements were realized by stepping on the mental bodies of ner do wells proving yet again that the best way to get over a wall is to step on the dead, to tread with disdain on the carcasses of those valiant men, and women, who went before and dared to die gloriously so you could pretend to be whoever you wanted to be, less talent and courage. Take that you miserable 120 lbs of spit up.”

Rev. Stone complaining about Wankmeister’s lack of cycling prowess. Please check http://www.USAcycling.org race results for “William Stone” in order to appreciate the richness of this humor.

“At least I did not have to sell my soul-a generous concession based on the type of faith that drives Republicans to believe Jonah Goldberg does not walk around with his pants full of mommy-for a ten percent discount on a pair of decidedly non Tour De Francis Winning pieces of plastic recycled from Dick Cheney’s diet sprite bottles from various bunkers at the Four Seasons.”

Billy Jock, angry again that Wankmeister loves SPY products, uses them, and happily endorses them. Billy Jock despises such endorsements, unless they appear on his pet cycling web site, http://www.truesport.com.

“If you cannot drink their liquor and screw their women without selling out then you are what? Drinking moonshine and having sex with dolls. I prefer to call it compromise.”

Stonehead misquoting Jesse Unruh’s famous line about politicians and lobbyists to make the “point” that when other people support someone they have sold out, but when he does it, it’s compromise. I bet those morning conversations with the guy in the mirror are pretty fun to watch, Billy.

“But, in the words of your favorite Presidential Nobody: “I may be fat and ugly, but I did manage to finally to kiss a pretty girl, albeit, only by moving to the side some babbles from Tiffany’s. And before you become all David Barton historian par non, Tiffany’s is so way last middle of last century.”

The Right Reverend mixing his metaphors, struggling (and failing) to remember the word “nonpareil,” mis-capitalizing his nouns, and confusing “babbles” with “baubles.” We’re not sure what any of it means, except that perhaps he once heard Joyce and Proust were considered great writers because of their non-linear style, and figured that by stringing together some random words he’d be a deep writer, too.

“Kid goes to circus. Gets teased by clown. Spends next year going to comedy school. Gets high marks. Becomes feared commentator in High School Tweety Club. Goes back to circus. Clown sees him and calls his the mass of insecurity, same as last year. Kid Comedy rises up and musters all his well learned lessons and sputters out: ‘Well, fuck you clown. Just Fuck You.'”

Nilly Willy reminiscing about what are obviously painful childhood memories.

“And what I’m pissed about is that you Jack D thinks you are funny. And clever. And I resent that. Much.”

Hands of Stone explaining why he dislikes Wankmeister, even though the two have never met. However, Wankmeister graduated from junior high school many years ago, and is no longer interested in the petty intrigue required to hang out with the cool kids, most of whom are divorced, broke, or in jail now.

“yes I meant ‘calls him. And no I meant BABBLES”

Noah Stone, finding a new and innovative use for the word “babbles” and showing how passé it has become to capitalize the first word in a sentence. Once he finishes reading his third book, he will improvify and betterize the English language even morerer.

So there you have it! The latest and greatest addition to the world of online commentary. Wankmeister looks forward to bringing you more cleverness and fun from this unique and colorful troll writer.

A little early morning tarck action

April 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

The tarck is a place where you go ’round and ’round, but nothing ever changes except for you, who gets tarder and tarder until you quit, most usually dejected at not having reached whatever hopeless goals you began with. It is, like life, a metaphor for life.

I’m locked into the weekly Friday tarck session of your worst nightmare at the newly re-branded Velo Sports Center in Carson. Fridays were once a happy time when I would meet up at Malaga Cove with Howard Hughes, and with Jack from Illinois (not his real name) when he was in town. We’d pedal over to Hermosa and watch Chief get dressed, which was its own form of entertainment, and often lasted well into the morning. Then Chief would make the monster 250-yard pedal down to CotKU, we’d quaff a cup of coffee, sometimes delaying the inevitable with a ride around the hill, but usually going straight into the office, and Chief would, if he’d been in trial, engage in some long-distance “punitive riding” up the coast.

That’s all a distant memory. Now on Fridays I am bound to the Habitrail from Hell, where, by virtue of having rented a locker, I am now forced to use it once a week or feel the gentle yet steely reproofs of my lockermate who, by the way, has terrible designs on me. Although he’s only been cycling for a few years, and is older than an igneous rock deposit, he is fierce, fast, canny, disciplined, and focused beyond belief.

The opposite of me, in other words, who is smiley, slow, clod-like, lazy, and scattered to the four winds.

Each Friday we do a 40 or 50 or 100-lap warm-up on the blue line, alternating every two laps. With ten to go I take the front, we drop down to the pole lane, and I try to fend him off in the final 500 or 250 meters. He’s never come around me except for the time he miscounted and passed me after the final lap, but he’s, like 287 years older than me and comes close to beating me every time. Each time he’s just a little bit closer.

So now I go to bed every Thursday with worry on my head that’s the size of a block of granite, and I wake up at 5:00 AM each Friday wondering only one thing: “How’m I going to keep that bastard at bay again today?” This is, by the way, why Eddy retired from cycling. He couldn’t take the incessant pressure to win. [No snide comments, please, about how beating an octogenarian in a warm-up isn’t “winning.” My coach, @captaintbag1, has already advised me that since I totally suck and can’t win anything of significance I should choose events that I really can win, even if they’re just totally faux races. This is one. Rather, this is the only one. So shut the fuck up now.]

Anyway, we weren’t the only ones at the tarck this morning. Here’s who was there and what was done by them, a nice little passive voice construction that will hopefully piss at least someone off who works in the Language Arts field, which, when I was a kid, had the really weird name of “English.”

Oldasdirt: After 99 laps, with one to go I jumped hard, opened up a few bike lengths, and just managed to stave him off. It didn’t feel like a victory so much as a reprieve from the inevitable execution.

CM & W: How often do you see an older brother doing what older brothers are supposed to do, i.e. helping a sibling instead of pounding the living snot out of them? CM took his little sister out on the tarck and they had a fantastic workout. She is a little motor and we will be seeing her in a stars-and-stripes jersey soon. Of course I acted like a dick when I yelled at CM not to cross the tarck with his cleats on, even though it turned out that he had been wearing the proper rubber clogs. You see, I crossed the tarck once in my cleats and Johnny saw me from, like, three miles away and read me the riot act. So for the past year I’ve been looking for someone I could read the riot act to, but just ended up accusing the innocent. CM was cool about it, though, as I immediately apologized.

Kurt S.: Have you ever watched a rocket lift off? Kurt was doing starts. Whoever’s going to beat him at nationals this year better bring an engine in their down tube, because Kurt is absolutely flying.

Katherine: Parent of CM & W, she was out there getting in a solid workout with the guys.

Jack K.: Most people think Jack lives at the tarck, but he doesn’t, or at least he’s not paying rent. Jack is the most consistent early morning tarck rider and jaw flapper in SoCal. If he can’t talk about it, that’s because the words to do so haven’t yet been invented.

Niva: Joined me and Oldasdirt midway through our warm-up, then dropped us without so much as an effort with four to go. I don’t know what she’s training for, but I’m putting my money on her to win it.

Bigdude in blue: Dude just pedaled around the tarck and looked happy as a clam doing it.

Since I only did the 100-lap warmup with Oldasdirt I got into the office early. Which is a bad thing. Right?

NPR: raging Bull, chicks & spinning Major

March 9, 2012 § 5 Comments

Yesterday’s New Pier Ride:

“Yo, Wankmeister…could you just once post something with less than 10,000 words?”

Ok!

Bull Seivert, raging nonstop at the front.

NPR by the numbers: 70% never get within 50 yards of the front; 80% never take a pull; 90% of the work is done by five people…or less.

Chicks galore. WM loves bootylicious bike rides filled with women out trading punches with the guys. Girls: no ride is so fast that you can’t park behind some fat dude and draft like the Selective Service. Join us!

Major Bob OUT OF THE BIG RING the whole way down the bike path!!

StageOne takes a series of hard pulls, blows out left knee, right elbow, and chin joint. Splattered blood and joint tissue stimulate idea for new kit design.

G3 calls Wankmeister a pandering douchebag on his new blog (http://flailingandhopeless.wordpress.com), and calls out Wankmeister for calling out G3. Thanks for the props! (Gussy notes that two lame bloggers are now blogging about each others’ lame blogs).

Chief sighting!!! Former master of all he surveyed, now confined to the Saturday kiddy soccer reservation, the legend nonetheless lives on.

Quotable:

You shoulda been here Tuesday. It was so much faster than today.
When I get a flat I just go down to Helen’s and we fix it together.
I’m not making your NPR wanker list, am I?
Am I going to need this? (Holds up tire tool).
I really don’t know how this works. (Holds up CO2 canister).
Whoops!
Is BWR as hard as you’re making it out to be on the blog?
BWR isn’t really 9,200 feet of vertical…is it?
Will anybody really finish BWR?
I was going to do BWR, but it just doesn’t look like much fun.

Okay. Under 10,000 words. Done!

Donut report, 1/7/2012

January 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

This morning we rolled out of the offset-center of the known universe in Redondo Beach with a gaggle of about 75 riders. At Malaga Cove the pace mysteriously increased, first with Johnny, and then with a massive attack by Wikanator, followed closely by Marco. I tagged along until the taste of vomit got a bit too sharp, and shortly after we crested the Malaga hill we were joined by a handful of other escapees, including the feared Neapolitan.

Perez hit the gas, one or two others took turns, and then Rodley blew the group apart as we passed Indicator and came through Lunada Bay. He’s ready for FTR and going fast. Just past the school, the Neapolitan hit it hard, followed by me and Marco, and when we dumped out onto PV Drive we were a threesome, soon joined by Perez, Derek, and five or six others. Perez, always willing to hit the front, and Derek, always willing to let someone else hit the front, epitomize the Donut Ride: a couple of guys drilling it to the Switchbacks while everyone else cops a free ride and waits to attack on the climb.

Our breakaway got snagged at the Golden Cove stoplight, and our 40-second advantage melted back into one big amorphous group. The Neapolitan surged a few times, but the fireworks didn’t really start until one of the guys had words with Saturn, and then another guy got involved, and pretty soon there was a shitstorm of screaming, yelling, cussing, hollering, middle-fingering, pushing, scratching, eye-poking, spitting, nose-tweaking, shin-kicking, toe-stomping, tit-tweaking, and pecker-pinching such as I haven’t seen since kindergarten.

Unfortunately, the usual litany of he-saids, she-saids degenerated into actual physical contact when some guy with a really tiny, shrunken, shriveled, microscopic, woefully small and inadequate…ego…either pushed Suze or slapped her, depending on which eyewitness account you believe. Now I’m all for a spirited chorus of “fuck you’s” and “up yours” and “yo’ momma’s” to keep things lively, but gal-whacking gets you Loser of the Year and Please Don’t Come on this Ride Anymore You Douchebag Award.

If you’ve confused cycling with MMA, or if you are so angered by the wagging middle finger that you have to hit someone, perhaps you should take your anger out on, say, someone your own size, rather than engaging in fisticuffs with a woman pushing fifty.

After the dust-up, we hit the Switchbacks, and all of the wheelsucking, cowardly, craven, spineless, yellowbelly pretenders cowered some more, while others did the dirty work. On the third turn, what was left of the lead group split apart, Nick and Derek raced away after doing nothing but suck wheel for the entirety of the ride, and I put on my reverse jets and went backwards really, really quickly.

I counted 22 riders go past me like I was standing still on the way to the top. So it looks like my form for FTR is right on target. A massive beatdown awaits.

The rest of the ride turned pissy, then shitty, as these photos attest.

Roxanne! (You don’t have to turn on the red light)

November 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

When USADA announced that Florida masters racer Michael Diamond, 63, had been suspended for refusing a doping control, the reaction was uniform: “What an idiot!” “He was fifth out of nine in a 60+ TT…what a loser!” “Why would anyone dope for the chance to win a salami and a can of Velveeta? What a dork!” “It’s a stupid fricking bike race! How could he?” Etc., etc.

A few weeks earlier, Michael Miller of Morgantown, Pennsylvania, was slapped with an 8-month ban after he tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine at masters track nationals in Trexlertown. Stack that on top of Roger Hernandez, 45 (refusal to test), Josh Webster, 38 (meth/phen), Peter Cannell, 37, (‘roids), Alberto Blanco, 30 (test), and Andrew Tilin, 46, (non-analytical positive), and you have a nice little group of busted, past-their-prime dopers. This doesn’t include the 2011 crop containing Joe Papp, Juan Pablo Dotti, 27, David Clinger, Phil Zajicek, and Lisban Quintero, “normal” dopers who were either pro or young cheats.

If you listen to the South Bay and SoCal scuttlebutt, there are quite a few old farts out here mixing and matching poisons to produce results that range from first place to pack meat. What the fuck is going on?

Get this straight at least: it’s not crazy

As much as our community likes wrinkling its nose and scoffing at the creaky losers like Mike Diamond, even as we like ridiculing them for choosing drugs as a vehicle to cycling mediocrity, the thing that’s strange about these gray-haired cheats isn’t their crappy results. It may be shameful because they’ve been unmasked as cheats, but the aged wankers juiced on ‘roids so that they can win the state TT are doping from the exact same motivations as Floyd, Lance, Jan, Ivan, and all the other guys who’ve stood on the podium at the TdF.

“Yeah,” you say, “but those guys are pros and they actually stand to win something by cheating. The Florida state TT for 60-69 masters racers? Risk your health for an ill-fitting jersey that you’re still six minutes out of the money for? Gimme a fucking break.”

This kind of criticism implies, of course, that whereas Diamond’s futility in a lame field for a “who-cares” title is laughable, your endeavors in the 30+ masters, or the Cat 2 field, or with the regional semi-pro team (bikes at a discount, gas money, entry fees, and a couple of spare kits) are legit. This reminds me of sex when I was a teenager. Many’s the time I’d look at a woman in her late 30’s and think, “Goddamn, how could anyone that old have sex?”

Then, in my late 20’s, I’d look at a woman in her late 40’s or early 50’s and think, “Man, that’s just too old. They should retire.” Pretty soon, here came the late 40’s , and suddenly I was discovering a whole new world of beautiful and alluring women to look at–forty, fifty, and up seemed downright normal. Many of my peers have friends or relatives who’ve had to put elderly relatives into nursing homes only to learn that lots of people in their 80’s and 90’s are still screwing like there’s no tomorrow, perhaps because for many of them, there isn’t.

The point is graphic, but easily grasped: it’s easy to understand how young athletes dope for a chance to win an Olympic medal, and to kid yourself that older people don’t take it just as seriously. As you get older you realize that the desire to win burns just as brightly among many an oldster, and just because people age doesn’t mean they become honest or ethical. Don’t we see that daily with the U.S. Congress?

Get a life? YOU get a life.

The other faux explanation for masters doping is that these clueless clods don’t “have a life.” They are so wrapped up in the silly, unreal, insignificant world of USA Cycling events that they somehow lose their perspective on what’s important in life. Hence they plunge off into the dangerous, expensive, and bizarre world of doping.

Is masters cycling such a weird, distorted place? Of course it is. But would we be better off spending the weekends at NASCAR? Or buried on the couch from Saturday morning ’til Monday night watching football and swilling beer? Is golf a healthier or a cheaper obsession? X-Box? Porn, anybody?

For people who say that the obsessed masters racer should be spending time with his family, I say this: what if he’s been married so long that he doesn’t want to? What if the kids are grown, or if they’re at the age where they think dad’s a dork, or what if there are no kids? What if dad or mom is holding together a miserable, crumbled marriage as best they can, and the time away from the family is the only thing that keeps it together?

There are a lot of masters racers in California with successful careers, loving families, and accomplishments in their other avocations who simply love to race their bike. It’s their thing, they love it, and they do it because they want to compete and to win. I think it beats the hell out of most other pastimes for 40-something men, and is a lot cheaper even when you throw in the $10k bike. Priced a Ducati or a Harley lately?

And what if we’re not married or attached to anyone at all? What if, at age 45, we discovered a healthy, fun, social pastime that lets us travel, train, compete, and meet new people? What if we’ve found the bike, just in time, as a surrogate for a terrible alcohol or drug addiction? What if bike racing is the activity fending off other, deeper emotional problems? Is racing a bike such an obviously imbalanced, distorted thing? (Okay, of course it is.) Still, I don’t think you can really say that it is without knowing quite a lot about the person in question. Unlike some other adult leisure activities that come to mind, this one is pretty harmless.

Drugs are just another piece of the puzzle

Just like I don’t believe that people automatically lose their will to win when they realize they’ll never be UCI pros, and just like I don’t believe that people who are obsessed with amateur cycling are by definition imbalanced, I likewise refuse to believe that there’s anything abnormal or strange about doping to improve performance among masters racers.

If you’ve made it to age 21 you must have come to grips with the fact that it’s both normal and predictable for people to cheat, lie, and steal. That’s what lots and lots of people do. Not all people, and not all the time, but the possibility of cheating, lying, and stealing must be taken into account any time you deal with another human being. Cycling’s no different.

Masters racers who have invested huge amounts of time, money, and emotional energy into their avocation have every incentive to dope. There’s little if any risk of getting caught. There’s an endless online database in the form of websites, forums, and chat rooms where you can greatly minimize the dangers posed by using drugs. There are numerous doctors, particularly in L.A., who specialize in “anti-aging,” which is shorthand for drug dispensation to achieve any number of non-medical needs. Want to go faster longer? There’s a protocol for that. Want to go faster shorter? There’s a protocol for that, too. Just add the tail of newt, venom of scorpion, and web of spider. Want to raise your aerobic capacity? Can you spell E-P-O?

People in their forties are likely to have the time to train and the disposable income to afford the drugs. After putting together the top-end equipment, hiring a pro coach, logging the miles, and doing the races year in, year out, it’s natural to look for that extra edge whether you’ve been winning, almost winning, or pack foddering. Put another way, what’s left? In track disciplines where the margin of victory may only be a second or two, the right drugs incorporated into the right training plan can push you up onto the top step of the podium. At least, that’s the theory…63 year-old Mike Diamond didn’t do much to prove it, as his only USA Cycling results showed a desultory level of participation and awful results his entire career.

The bottom line is that doping is another logical and readily available weapon in the racing arsenal, just like aero wheels, ceramic bearings, slick shoe covers, aero helmets, and aero fabrics. Why not use it, especially when, without question, there are successful competitors in SoCal amateur races who are?

That darn “cheating” thing

Since the verdict is out regarding the long term health effects of a doctor-prescribed, carefully monitored, moderate doping protocol, the only real reason not to dope is your internal sense of right and wrong. If you grew up believing that cheating is wrong, you’ve got a pretty good firewall that will keep your hand out of the cookie jar. If you have a wife like mine, who combs through every receipt and credit card statement with a fine-toothed comb, and who would raise holy hell at a $2,500 monthly bill for drugs and doctor visits, your firewall is stronger still.

But even if you believe cheating is wrong, you may not believe that doping is cheating if you also think that most of your competition is doing it. I don’t know where I fall on that argument, but it’s moot because I really don’t think that most masters racers dope–so for me, doping is pretty clearly cheating. In any event doping requires you to lie, so that makes it even more repugnant.

Your band of improvement

Those pesky moral imperatives–don’t cheat, don’t lie, don’t even dream about hiding money from your wife–make the issue pretty clear cut. Yet there’s another reason that masters doping doesn’t really add up…for me. Since I started using a power meter, I have learned, more or less, my physical limits. The best 20-minute power I’ve ever put out is 325w. It was on July 17, 2011. Almost all of my other best 20-minute wattages have been in the 300-310w range.

To take it a step further, my three best 1-hour outputs have been 280, 285, and 295 watts. I may be capable of more, but not much more. Given my age, my ability, and a host of other limiters, this is pretty much as good as I’ll ever be. Drugs may be able to significantly boost these parameters, but so what? Take away the dope and, with lots of saddle time, I’ll still be a 295w FTP kind of guy, give or take a few watts.

Everyone’s different, but for me, knowing that my band of improvement is only a handful of watts beyond 295 makes the allure of drugs nil. It’s a kind of self-awareness and self-satisfaction, that is…enough. If only the men and women trying to find something extra through cheating and drugs could understand that whatever capabilities they have in their undoped state, it’s enough. If only.

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