August 17, 2012 § 12 Comments
I wish Captaintbag would come out of the closet and identify himself, mostly because then I could stop having to deny I’m him. I wish I had a nickel for every wanker who’s sidled up to me and said, “Hey, dude, I saw that Captaintbag link on your web site. That’s really you, isn’t it?”
Fuck no, it isn’t me, and any idiot ought to know it isn’t.
For one, I can’t write fuggin dna spel like capn. Even if I trid I coul’dnt
For another, I don’t pseudonymize.
And for another, unlike my gasbag opinions that are founded on sand and thin air, Taintbag is a razor sharp, analytical bastard who knows the nuts, bolts, pins, needles, and science behind human performance. If you think that’s me, you’ve never fuggin ridden with me for even five minutes.
The biggest news to hit the Internet since Bukka White’s “Poor Boy A Long Way From Home” got uploaded to YouTube
Taintbag is a wicked cross-examiner because he knows his stuff and doesn’t back down. So I was surprised when Jonathan Vaughters decided to respond to him in a Twatter exchange. Of course, Vaughters considers himself a “Jedi” at indirection–his word, believe it or not–which is a kind of hubris that will serve you mighty fucking poorly when you’re lying to a skilled questioner.
Sir Jedi, in a halfhearted attempt at transparency, tried to explain to Taintbag the actual details of his doping and how it related to his career and decision to quit and ultimately cause him to become the Jedi in shining armor for clean cycling.
In a brilliant takedown of this sagging and lead-filled balloon of lies, Taintbag extracted on Twitter the key elements of JV’s explanation, and then dismantled them. Unfortunately for some readers, there were two problems with his analysis. First, it was written in Taintbagese, a language that requires years of study to understand, a special dictionary, and the ability to conjugate “fug,” and is therefore not accessible to the general cycling public. Second, although Taintbag shredded Vaughters’s explanations from a scientific and logical vantage point, there was an even bigger sleaze that didn’t receive the full attention it deserved.
So I’m going to offer my services, which is kind of like a 150-lb weightroom newbie offering tips to the 295-lb Mr. Olympia.
But since I do go the gym…
The JV post-confession confession
Vaughters admitted to doping in the Times. Then he explained on the Twatter that he had a naturally high hematocrit of 54, which limited his EPO doping to a small amount because a heavier doping regimen would have raised his hematocrit such that it would have earned him a yellow card. After locking himself into this box, Taintbag exposed JV’s contradiction that a little dope don’t help, but nevertheless that this small amount of doping drove him from the sport, as he couldn’t stand “living the lie.” Vaughters also threw in, offhandedly, that it just got “old” getting top ten placings in one-week stage races.
If that level of performance is the best you can do, he admonished the pabulum licking wank-and-file on Twatter, it’s time to “shit or get off the pot.”
Wow. And there I was hoping for a top fifty placing next week in Ontario’s 45+ bizpark crit.
And that’s when I realized that pros must really be different from you and me, even though every one I’ve ever met–and I’ve met a bunch–seem pretty flesh and blood.
And when I realized that Vaughters had made a really good point, I knew something was terribly wrong, so I did a little Intersleuthing.
How many riders in Vaughters’s current stable, I wondered, regularly pull in top-ten placings in any ProTour event, much less one-week stage races?
On the Pro Tour’s 2012 calendar, Vaughters’s squad got zero top-ten placings in the Tour Down Under, Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico, MSR, Gent-Wevelgem, the Ronde, Tour of Pais Vasco, the Dauphine, Tour of Poland, and Eneco Tour. With the exception of Hesjedal’s Giro win, which was massive, the remainder of the 2012 ProTour results were a fourth, (Tour of Catalan), fifth (E3-Harelbeke), ninth (Paris-Roubaix), eighth (Amstel), sixth (Fleche Wallone), fifth (Liege-Bastogne-Liege), second (Tour of Romandie), seventh (Tour of Switzerland), and fourth at San Sebastian.
Oh, and no top ten placing at the Tour de France.
Guess it’s time for Martin, Danielson, Talansky, Wegmann, Van Summeren, and Vanmarcke, the guys with those lousy top-ten finishes, to find a new team (Oopsie! Vanmarcke just did!). And what of the bone idling, highly paid dudes who never even got a crummy top-ten? Time to get off the fucking pot and start their own transparent team dedicated to clean cycling, I guess.
In other words, that part of Vaughters’s explanation was a big, stinking pile of lying shit.
The reason it’s pointless to analyze the Jonathan Vaughters doping confession based on his NTY op-ed, his Tweets, and his “numbers”
There’s one reason only. The guy’s a complete fucking liar. If you haven’t gotten the memo by now, and your stupid hat is that tightly affixed with a chinstrap, I’m putting it down for you here in black and white: Habitual liars lie habitually.
Good. Which leads to the next step: If a habitual liar is explaining something to you that exculpates or mitigates his wrongdoing, assume that every single word is a lie unless he can demonstrate otherwise. Note that nothing in his Twatter exchange or NYT op-ed is substantiated with regard to the how-and-how-much of his doping history. It’s just his word. And what do we know about habitual liars? (Go back and review).
This methodology leads to a supplemental analysis:
- JV has a naturally high hematocrit? He’s lying.
- JV only took small doses? He’s lying.
- JV’s top-ten placings were unsatisfactory to management? He’s lying.
- JV’s hematocrit gains from doping didn’t help him? He’s lying.
- JV’s moral struggle from doping drove him from professional cycling? He’s lying.
So we’re left with a very different narrative now that we know that we’re speaking with Jedi Liar, and the new narrative goes like this:
Jonathan Vaughters was a talented bike racer. He had a normal hematocrit. When he turned pro during the Wild West of EPO use, he took massive doses of drugs with zero risk of detection. Even with a well-funded, scientifically executed doping and test avoidance strategy, and a fat salary, he couldn’t close the deal. Vaughters realized that even with a top-notch drug program he didn’t have what it took to win. He also saw the handwriting on the wall with regard to stricter drug enforcement, which would further depress his results, and increase his cognitive dissonance: Not the cognitive dissonance of a moral failing, but the dissonance caused by his fear of getting caught, and, perhaps, the dissonance of knowing that such a massive and long term drug habit might harm him. So he quit and embraced “Clean Cycling,” a/k/a Inmates Running the Asylum.
That’s the narrative, folks. And it has the added benefit of ringing true, and not requiring you to believe anything that Jonathan Vaughters says.
And now, Captain, with all due apologies, back to you…
August 1, 2012 § 41 Comments
It’s simple. If you’re a grown man, and you’re shaving your legs, and you’re not a professional athlete or in the porn business, then you have a problem. The only question is “How bad is it?”
By now you MUST have heard about David Anthony, star of the New York Times, feature stud on VeloNews, zeitgeist at BikedoucheNYC, the 42 y/o Cat 2 full-on HGH and EPO doper who got popped at a fucking gran fondo in New York. If you haven’t, you should take the time to read these stories. They get the facts pretty much right, but they all miss the point completely.
David Anthony is a hero. Actually, he’s a king. The King of Wankers. The greatest wanker of our time, if not of all time.
Tawdry tales of a twit’s terrible trajectory
It’s incredible what Anthony achieved in the space of little more than three brief years. He went from middle aged Cat 5 neo-wanker to all-in Cat 2 wanker. Injecting EPO into his belly fat. Shearing 20 pounds off his 160-lb frame. Sleeping and whacking off in an oxygen tent. Pouring money into the pockets of private coaches who would analyze his power files, send him e-pats on the back, and stoke the raging fire of his drug-crazed frenzy. He left his starter dork club and moved up to racing with a big team, aptly named “Comedy Central.”
We can assume he got the bro deal on his frame as he blew a grand a month on drugs, spent his spare time in a wind tunnel, and notched some huge results, culminating in a 16th place after upgrading to Cat 2. Sixteenth place. And before you snicker and howl, how many 16th places have you ever gotten in a Cat 2 race?
Then it all unraveled. Busted at a lame-ass gran fondo, surrounded by hairy-legged freds and nice ladies who wanted to “do their first century,” he got booted from his team (losing the bro deal, no doubt), was banned by USA Cycling for two years, and worst of all became the object of ridicule in the lowest and filthiest and most depraved circle of hell, otherwise known as the online bicycle forum where anonymous people with handles like “Big Hammer” and “Wattmaster” pass judgment on real people they’d be afraid to say “Hello” to in real life.
After confessing, apologizing, revealing the drug trail’s intricacies to USADA, and displaying the kind of remorse that is never, ever, ever, ever seen by pro athletes, politicians, or people who shoot up movie theaters for fun, karma revealed the true cunty nature of her awful self and subjected him to a bike crash in which he broke his leg in three places and may never cycle again. He now walks with a fucking cane.
This boy went all in, and he went all down. The only thing that could have made his undoing more complete might have been an arrest for public masturbation or the discovery of unpaid child support bills. It’s not stated in any of the interviews, but he sounds single, so in addition to all the misery and public opprobrium, he also gets to be alone.
Put yourself in his shoes for a couple of minutes. Done? Now that’s some heavy shit.
I like my sinners covered in sin
Although you’ve become pariah non grata in the BikedoucheNYC scene, dude, you’re way fucking welcome on any of my rides. You are badass. You took what we all do and maxed out the mental credit card. You went to a place that lots of other idiots go, but few return from in such a shattered, broken heap. You don’t have battle scars, you have been mortally wounded and somehow survived.
And to top it off, you have a conscience. It is warped, fucked up, and was clearly out of commission for a period of years, but you still have one, and it’s come to the fore. You’ve not only confessed, you’ve repented. You are the reason we believe in justice, in the hope that people can do stupid things, be punished, and then be better people.
See, David, buddy, you’re not that bad. You got involved in cycling from the asshole end rather than from the sweet end. It could happen to anyone, and it does. The asshole end is the one that looks down on people for being slow, or fat, or clumsy. It’s the end that sneers at freds and wankettes because their lives have other trajectories, other priorities, other limitations, or other blessings that supersede racing a $10k bike around an office park on Sunday.
Once you climbed into the warty anus, where there are winners and everyone else is shit, you did the logical thing: you played to win. Unfortunately, you had enough early success to make the craziness seem real. If a 5 then a 4, if a 3 then a 2, so maybe one day a 1? Then, perhaps…
Yep, you should have kept counting, because the next number in that progression is “0.”
The crazies are all around us
Dave, your mistake happens to lots of pudgy, middle-aged bike racers. You’re hardly unique. You’ve been unathletic all your life, you’ve got the first stench of mortality firmly wedged in your nostrils (and it’s a smell that only gets stronger with each passing year), and you got involved in something that seemed to reverse the clock. Your body and mind are capable of so much, and it’s an incredible feeling, especially when you’re putting the wood to some snot-nosed punk twenty years your junior. Robin Williams fell into the Kook-Aid vat, so you’re in smart and good company.
The sweet end of cycling is not there, though. The sweet end is the end where the fun is the turning of the pedals and the admixture of people you meet on the bike. The sweet end is the one that whispers “We’re still dying, but what a happy journey it will be to the grave.”
The sweet end never lies to you, either. If you’re religious, it heightens your appreciation of life as you prepare for eternity with hot coals up your ass or eternity listening to bad gospel music. If you believe that this is all we get, cycling intensifies these few microseconds before we’re blasted back into nothingness for a zillion trillion eternities.
Come back to us, buddy
Go ahead and heal up your leg. Get some good PT. Make your physical recovery the keystone to your mental recovery. Hang onto one machine and sell all your extra bikes and TT shit on Ebay (if you’ve got Di2, I’m actually in the market for some if you can cut me a bro deal).
Then throw a leg back over and you’ll see that cunty karma has a sweet side as well. The bike will always welcome you back. If the BikedouchesNYC insist on giving you the stinkeye, fuck them. Find a group who doesn’t care and who rides for fun…fun, of course, meaning weekly beatdowns without having to pay an entry fee.
Get into the groove of riding not for a purpose, but because you can. And give me a shout the next time you’re in California. We’ll go for a pedal and laugh at the wankers, over whom, by the way, you will forever be king.