Friday, February 15, 2008

Riders (and fans) UNITE!

If you are a fan of bicycle racing, you simply have to read this; the best editorial I have seen yet on the situation in cycling.

The author, Charles Manantan, does an incredible job with this editorial and I give him a huge "bravo".

The current drama surrounding Astana, and other teams, because of Giro organizers RCS and Tour organizers ASO is nothing short of theater of the absurd. Our beloved sport of cycling is under attack... by the very folks who organize and run the sport! These idiots-in-charge are destroying the sport's credibility at a time when it needs to be propped up and resurrected... not beaten while it's down. It is due to these jackasses that I have personally been far less interested in things related to professional racing. Sure, on the domestic level I am totally pumped up because "my boys" are going to simply crush some people this year (you can quote on that one). But the whole European/ Pro Tour scene is sadly less important to me than ever. Why? Because the drama disheartens me far too much and I can't bare to watch the sport be humiliated any further. Other professional sports have much more to be concerned about, but they also have professional organizations propping them up and handling the "spin management", etc. Cycling, on the other hand, continues to look pathetic and weak- largely because of a lack of leadership... real leadership. Maybe I'm screwing myself out of ever getting to have a team participate in the "big" races because of my comments (though I doubt anybody related to this issue would ever read this- if they can read), but simply sitting here and nodding my head in agreement to what I read is tantamount to enabling things to continue they way they are now.

It should be no secret to anybody that I love the sport of cycling and have for the past 26 years of my life, but the 3-ring circus of fools running the sport and the major events is making fools of us all for our love and devotion. Frankly, that sh@# pisses me off! I hope it pisses you of too.

So, Charles, thank you for helping to fire me up further and thanks for writing down the comments and thoughts that have been in my own head. You beat me to writing a great piece and I don't know if I could have done it as well as you (I doubt I could). Thanks to Pez for publishing the editorial as well. Good job by both of you!

Now- what do we do? Sincerely, I'm not sure, but something needs to be done. Boycotting events is one way to be heard, but that hurts the teams and riders more than those who need to be hurt. Letter writing campaigns only ever go so far. Maybe a petition, showing support of the teams and riders is appropriate? I honestly don't know, but the comment section here is open to ideas. I'm fed up and I hope that you are too and are willing to be heard- somehow.

Join me, please.



Al said...

Never underestimate the power of the fan. Look what we did as Browns fans to the NFL when they let our team move away - we got to keep our name, our colors, our history and we got a team back before a lot of other cities that had lost a football team before us did - including LA.

One of the most effective things the Browns fans did was flood the NFL fax machine with letters complaining about the move. We should do something like it with both of these bozo organizations, but it needs to be done on mass scale to get their attention.

JRA said...

Good thing I still like riding my bike. I'd hate to be so caught up in that mess that it ruins my day.

Just Riding Along...

Anonymous said...

A direct strike of all ASO owned and operated events is in my opinion the way to go with this. If the riders union would "unite" and take this course of action you would see change. I promise. I agree 100% with Manhattan and his view on how this strike should take effect.

I am with you though, the whole thing is beyond frustrating. Such a beautiful sport is being turned into a high school student council situation where the race organizers choose their favorites. You know ASO is sick of Johan winning their races so this is something they have probably been waiting on for a long time.

Hey, if you see Remi again tell him hello from Boise!