Really stupid...

If an idea is good, it's on the verge of being stupid. ~ Michel Gondry

I have always had this theory… get a group of people in a room, throw out a bunch of ideas and at the end of the night, look at your list to find the most idiotic and that's the one you should do.

This blog was spawned from one very stupid idea - run the Leadville 100. I gave that a shot in the summer of '07 - completed 73 miles - and survived. The blog lives on...

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Breaks my heart to see a good sport go bad...

I was a juicer. Diabonol, then, Wisterol – it's for racehorses, for Christsake. Now I'm bankrupt, divorced, my two grown kids won't return my calls… ~ Robert "Bob" Paulson

So I started the day in a pretty good mood. It is Friday, after all – and one that supports the front end of a long weekend. My spirits were dampened, however, when I stumbled across this article about Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis and his admission of cheating when he won the 1996 race. This comes on the heels of Erik Zabel's admission earlier this week.

There has been a lot of buzz in the press of late surrounding doping and the losers who have cheated their way to "success". The most notable being current title holder, Floyd Landis. He is staged to be the first person stripped of his title due to cheating. Makes you wonder if anyone is riding clean.

I raced bikes steadily from about 1987-1992 and then off-and-on for many years thereafter. I won the first bike race I ever entered, way back in Junior High. It was part of our "Middle School Olympics" event that I believe was an attempt to teach us about other cultures and how to work as a team but I just remember how exciting it was to be able to spend several days outdoors instead of stuck in a classroom. My recollection is that one signed up for one's favorite events and less-popular events were filled randomly. I knew I wanted to do the bike race – a 1-mile (4 lap) race around our Highschool track and signed up immediately.

I don't remember the specifics of the race except that I was on my dad's Ciocc (which was later stolen). It was too big for me and the skinny tires didn't have much traction on the dirt track but I was determined. I remember that this wasn't much of a race. I jetted out to an early lead and was never really challenged for the win. But a win's a win, right? Unless, of course, you are cranked up on steroids or whatever else these selfish bastards are taking. (I raced clean – fueled by youthful enthusiasm and possibly Big League Chew.)

In any event, the remainder of my cycling career was dotted with occasional wins, strong placings in a number of races and a quick understanding that to be really able to compete, one needed to ditch the 9-5 job and train constantly – two items I might have relished in a different life but was in no position to accomplish.

Did people I competed against cheat? Most certainly. The odds are stacked against having a completely legit field. There were, and always will be, people willing to do "whatever it takes" to advance. Some of us will do it the old fashioned way, however. And those are the people I admire.


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