Wednesday, July 07, 2010

36 Cycling Shorts : 07 July 2010

1. Interpol In Armstrong Doping Probe : What you may not know is that WADA has an agreement of understanding with Interpol, which was established in 2008. That's the International Criminal Police, with a reputation for helping nab crooks and fugitives worldwide. That they are providing assistance in carrying out the Armstrong doping probe should be significant and good news to the people who truly care about the reputation of procycling. I hope they investigate the managers and financiers of the alleged doping ring, the real head honchos behind the U.S Postal campaign. People like Jim Ochowicz should really know what happened to the Lance's bikes in Austin TX that sold quite possibly for blood money. Did he act as a liaison or not for the transaction? Ask the people he worked with!

2.  Team Sky Says Goodbye To Kimmage : Award winning journalist Paul Kimmage was to be embedded in Team Sky for the Tour in order to see and report how clean (or not) cycling at the highest levels have become. We now know that Bradley Wiggins did not want Kimmage snooping around so British cycling's Performance Director Dave Brailsford told him thank you, goodbye. So much for transparency. If they have "nothing to hide", why not let him be part of their team?

3. Could Dopers Be Forming 'Strategies' Ties With Blogs? : The oldest trick in the book is to manipulate human perception about the truth through mass media propaganda. I laid out a plausible theory here that this sort of clandestine alliance might be happening between Armstrong and his blogging friends, among them which includes Fat Cyclist (Elden Nelson) and BSNYC (Eben Weiss). These two cycling blogs, who command a wealth of American readers, have revealed quite ostentatiously that they are friends of L.A. Their blogs, like Rick Reilly's unpopular ESPN columns, could potentially become a tool to brainwash people. At the other end, a single link from Armstrong on his Twitter account could divert millions of people to read the blogs.
4. Armstrong Talks To Media Via Laptop Now :
Another strategy to try and cause a deliberate media blackout is to not appear at press conferences at all, but in fact deliver half hearted, mundane, oft-repeated phrases through a laptop at hard questions. Think of the poor journalist who has waited for hours on end to get any kind of word out to his workplace. What would have been much more entertaining was if L.A chose to employ an electronic synthesizer like one Stephen Hawking uses, and attach it to his helmet. All he has to do then is utilize a small keyboard to press "1" for We like our credibility, "2" for No Comments, "3" for He's a f_____ troll etc. Can The Shack build him such a circuit is a good question, now that you walk into one of their outlets and find they are short on stock with electronic components.

5. Steering Geometry : For those of you who would like to read an academic take on steering geometry, there is Mark Sanders' Master's Thesis from many years ago which he wrote as part of designing his famous Strida. He linked it to me so why don't I go ahead and embed it here so you can take some time off to read (click on it for Fullscreen access). Any questions on this topic, please ask away and I'll get the word out to Mark.


  1. John the Cyclist4:45 AM

    For all of Kimmage's wonderful journalistic instinct he befriended the now Landisgate-implicated (and recent Shack transfer) Allen Kim during his Garmin embedding.

    There is a strong argument that you get the least informed journalism from those "embedded". Just look at the many war correspondents during Iraq/Afghanistan.

    Given Kimmage or Team Sky has yet to comment on the issue, might it be worth at least waiting before condemning them based on a poster on the Cycling News forum? I believe Kimmage will comment further this Sunday in his usual article/column.

    He mentioned in a live chat on Times Online that he'd been pre-Tour training with Sky and Wiggins in the Pyrenees and interviewed him in depth ahead of the Tour. The interview is on The Times website but now behind a "paywall":

    Those two things alone go against much of the ill-informed comment in the Cycling News Clinic thread.

  2. Anonymous9:36 AM

    Priceless pic.

  3. jaxpaw12:16 PM

    Funny you should mention Fat Cyclist. I had to stop reading it months ago because I could not stomach his relationship with Lance and co.

  4. Spitfire1:18 PM

    What a thinker you are! Saying it like it is man! Keep it up.

  5. Spitfire1:19 PM

    Saying it like it is man! This is WHY I read your site!

  6. Brian1:57 PM

    I read (past tense) your site as an engineer who has interest in cycling technology, not to read about your opinions regarding unfounded cycling gossip. Your blog is in the gutter and it's a shame because I used to look forward reading.

  7. Brian : There is cycling technology in Item# 6 . Got any questions for me regarding steering geometry? I have covered possibly all the specialized topics in cycling that one can think of. Drill down into the archives. Btw, this is not a newspaper and no one pays me either. I love the independance! Few people have told me the same thing you have told me. I told them then, please drop a check in my mailbox to have me write like you want me to. Sorry and good luck.

  8. Anonymous5:33 PM

    Brian: check out the resource
    <<<< HERE
    This is THE best blog and source for bicycle technology. A bit of human interest just adds to the mix. Get a life ?

  9. Damn, you're gonna leave me, the Twisted Spoke blogger out of the alliance? Even when I'm in France? Merde alors.

  10. I think they kissed him goodbye largely because he's such an ungrateful wank, a badger and a manipulator (did you see his interview with Cav?).

    Even when he gets his answer he keeps beating that poor dead horse, "but you knew" "but you knew" but you knew". How damned many times did he need to hear "yes"?

    Kimmage is a zealot who disguises himself as a journalist. He's gonna find what he wants to find regardless of reality. The "answer" is preordained, all he's looking for is the route to take him there, the meaning he can twist, the circumstance he can spin.

    There is not "fair and balanced" with Kimmage. There's what Kimmage believes and there's what Kimmage believes and that's that.

    I don't think Kimmage got the boot because anyone was afraid. I think he simply wore out his welcome with his weaselly ways.

    Who wants to hang with a guy whose every look and word is loaded with, "You're guilty. I know it. You know it. I just need the proof."?

  11. That pic of Lance brings back memories of his epic shouting match with Landis in the '05 Tour...and his stern lecturing of Simeoni back in '04...
    Maybe you could have a caption contest....
    BTW...Would he be ripping Alberto in Spanish or English?

  12. Maybe I can clear up #3, at least as far as my own blog goes. I have never received any money from Lance or anyone associated with him. On the contrary, I've put quite a bit of my time and money into LiveStrong, because they do good work. I've done a little bit of freelance work for LiveStrong, and when I have, I have declined payment. For every fundraiser I do for LiveStrong, I make certain that no money ever comes near me.

    As far as the Madone I got from Trek / SRAM (given to me because of the fundraiser I did for LiveStrong / World Bicycle Relief) goes, I did not expect it and gave it away in another fundraiser.

    Regarding being Lance's friend, I've met him twice. Both times because I raised a lot of money for the fight against cancer. Apart from those two times, I have not communicated with him (or his representatives) at all.

    Why don't I attack Lance or talk about the possibility that he doped in my blog? Because I don't follow it closely for one thing and don't know the facts well enough to talk about it knowledgeably or even entertainingly. For similar reasons, I didn't attack Floyd when he was going through his mess (I did go into it when he published accusations, because that's a pretty easy thing to wrap my brain around). I also didn't attack Tyler. Or Ullrich. Or anyone else. That's not my way, and it's not what my blog's about.

    I'm not a journalist. I'm a storyteller, writing something that interests me, usually early in the morning before I head out to my day job.

    You could have found out all of this and more by emailing me and asking, rather than coming out with the public accusation before even trying to contact me.

  13. Elden : You and I both think cheating is bad. That idea we share, whereas your other friend Eben Weiss doesn't think so strongly about that. You have written several times about Floyd and made your friends write what they think solutions to the doping problem should be. You also work closely with LAF as most know. Given these facts and your interest in the doping situation (if you weren't interested you wouldn't write about Floyd), I cannot ever imagine you didn't stop to think whether the credibility of the organization would go south or not if its "boss" Armstrong is proven to be a cheat. Don't you think that there's a big possibility that he's a fraud, and has made a mockery out of the human condition by making fairy tales about a comeback and capitalizing on it? The interesting thing is that you haven't put Lance and doping in the same sentence ever on the blog (correct me if I'm wrong) but your readers have already considered the situation many times expressing them to you. It's okay you have some opinions just like I have opinions. But you have an incentive to keep your opinions in a certain way because of your friendship with Lance and sorry, I can't believe that this is not true. Face it, both Floyd and Lance are nuts in the head and this sport stinks rotten eggs because of both of their possible criminal activities. Question is, what do you do when he and the whole ring behind him is nabbed? Start thinking about this right away.

  14. Andrew10:30 AM

    Ron, you can have as uncompromising an attitude to this as you want, but I'm not quite sure what you're trying to accomplish here. Crucify Lance if you like (I'm largely indifferent to professional cycling, so I have no emotional stake in this), strip him of his titles, but what after? Give it to the 2nd place finishers, who were likely also doping? And once you've proven that, to the 3rd placers (also doped, you think?)

    Sure the entire situation is rotten, but the fact of the matter is, any time we the public idolize anything to such an outrageous extent as is common with the celebrity of professional sport, you incentivize cheating way beyond any conceivable consequences for that cheating. Especially because it's been made so readily apparent that if you do it properly, chances are pretty good that you aren't going to get caught, at least not provably so.

    The world isn't black and white, and clutching on to a simplistic moral highground just isn't going to change anything or help differentiate the many shades of grey that will inevitably arise in such high-risk/high-reward situations.

    Is doping bad for the sport? Maybe, probably. But it's their own bodies they're destroying, because it's worth it to them. And I don't think there's anything you can actually do to stop that. Unless you want to demand a year-long daily blood/urine archive leading up to any pro event, I guess...

  15. Anonymous10:35 AM

    The actual exchange of cash or schwag is irrelevant. The 2 1/2 million potential readers that come with every LA tweet link is as good as cash to a blogger. If Elden thinks that 'what his blog's about' doesn't rely on him being an uncritical sap he's delusional.

  16. From your reply, it looks like you're satisfied with my explanation that I am not Armstrong's puppet. That's awesome, and I hope you'll write a followup post to that effect. A retraction would be a really nice gesture.

    Your reply spends most of its space telling me what you think I should be considering now and what I should do in the case that your speculative future comes to pass. Of course, I have already thought about what I would do if Armstrong were proven to be doping, and my answer is easy.

    I would continue to find ways to help people fight cancer.

    Most likely, I would still support LiveStrong (among other organizations) -- the reasons I support that organization no longer have anything to do with the fact that Armstrong founded it. Rather, I support it because I've found the people who work there, day-to-day, are incredibly committed and effective.

    If, for whatever reason, the effectiveness of LiveStrong were ever compromised, there is a long list of organizations I would use my time, money, and blog to support. If you'd like suggestions of some non-Armstrong-affiliated organizations to put your weight behind, let me know.

  17. in reply to Fatty: I have no doubt that the LiveStrong organization does many positive things. Where I have trouble though is differentiating where it crosses the line as a huge business and marketing tool versus a fundraiser for money to go directly to those in need. I'm curious about where all this money goes. How much goes to positive and how much goes to support the business. What are the fruits of the labor? Does anybody actually ask to see what specifically is accomplished.

  18. Mr. Anonymous, have you read Fatty's blog? Ever?


    While I think your original question about bloggers doing PR for LA is interesting and plausible, I also know Fatty personally. His primary incentive is to give back. Which is what he uses the influence he has to do. He's doing good work, for a good cause. Lance may not deserve the benefit of the doubt, but Elden absolutely does.

  19. Anonymous11:07 AM

    Sadly I have.

  20. Paul Smith11:44 AM

    Jayne DuVall has a point. Why not someone stop to consider what effect this whole doping saga has on the confidence of those poor cancer patients? Aren't they deriving some bit of strength in their fight against cancer by believing in the Armstrong story? And please don't tell me that all human beings are so benevolent that they suddenly pour all their savings in the LAF fund. I can personally tell you that I know a lot of people who buy LAF merchandize, armbands etc not because they care about cancer patients, but they want to make a "fashion statement" about themselves to others. Whatever it is, Fatty telling us that he will continue the fight against cancer is well and good but the possibility that a lot of donors will lose their confidence in the organization is VERY HIGH. No donors = no charity fund. Very sad but that's what may end up happening.

  21. Anonymous3:30 PM

    Dear Dip Shit,
    As an engineer that deals with proven facts and formulas for the way the world works you are just slap eat up with hearsay and rumors about this doping stuff guy. Landis the angel of the Peloton shits and you go lick it up like it was butter. Pretty pathetic I would say. I find your engineering stuff interesting, but everything else is pretty much bull shit you should be ashamed of. I guess you and Obama would like to take away our sports too ? Just my opinion of course.

  22. Anonymous4:54 PM

    Dear double dip shit above me,

    Tell the same to the Interpol. And while you're at it, Novitzky too. LOL....

  23. How does the saying go? If the rabid anonymous cranks come out of the woodworks and spew prosaic diarrhoea all over the place you're doing something right? Yeah I think that's it. ;)

    As to the subject at hand: Most fund-raising efforts spend a large portion of the money that comes their way in overhead costs. Employees need to be paid, advertising, etc, etc, etc all quite simply costs money. Pragmatics dictate that no charity or similar organization can operate cost free and I think it is flat out silly to expect such.

  24. Mitchell10:36 PM

    Could you please explain how steering geometry is decided? That thesis was nice, however I didn't understand a word.

  25. Joachim11:41 PM

    this blog has devolved into an anti-lance blog lately. sad.

    and no, i'm not a "lance can do no wrong" type. if anything i'm resigned to the issue that most pro cyclists are dopers. i still enjoy watching them race. and if i had the time or money i'd be running up the steepest slopes at every race cheering ALL of them on like didi the devil dude.

    but you just seem to distinctly enjoy kicking lance in the nuts over and over and over - even dragging in other bloggers in your conspiracy theories.

    move on. please.

  26. Anonymous11:59 PM

    Joe Papp wrote on his blog today :

    Johann Bruyneel was an incredibly successful director, based on the number of Tour wins his riders achieved. But what set Bruyneel apart from his peers was not some magical ability to divine the thoughts of his rivals and counter their every move. No, what made him different was his willingness to assume the incalculable risks necessary to facilitate one of the most brazen and logistically-complex systematic doping programs in the history of cycling. That's it. His willingness to risk getting caught breaking the law, and his ability to master the logistics of a complex, illegal, extremely-risky and expensive doping program were the two competitive advantages he held over his rivals. That Lance Armstrong was his twin in that evil endeavour was his trump card."

  27. Maurash12:07 AM

    Read a few people who didn't like the blog. I too am sick of hearing about doping and almost ready to kill myself and by all means, I don't CARE about Lance. But in support, I must say that this is the quintessential cycling blog for our times. Engineering, design studies, funny shit, doping, conspiracy theories (and that too, amazingly sensible/plausible ones), marketing screwups, you name the theme...which blog can match the caliber of one blogger? My conspiracy theory is that this blog must contain several writers?? True? Plausible! Maybe its Greg Lemond writing the blog which I would love since he's my favorite bike racer! :)

  28. I don't believe that Fatty is "an Armstrong puppet", but a Lanceophile? Absolutely.

    He won't dare say a thing to offend Lance. He won't reply to anyone Lance would disapprove of.

    But does that make him a bad person?

    There is a lesson in "Pirates of the Caribbean" when Jack says that Bootstrap was both a pirate and a good man. Can't Fatty be both, though I believe he has a lot more "good man" in him than pirate?

    Fatty seems to be a caring, genuine guy who just happens to have a little personal ambition.

    That ambition has lined him up with Lance and Johan.

    As the saying goes, "Everything has a price."

    The price of Fatty's particular ambition is that he, at very least, comes off as a Lance / Johan simp.

    As of now, neither Lance nor Johan have been proven guilty of anything, nor even had official charges pressed against them. Choosing to take and defend their side is hardly like championing dog fighting or child abuse, but that seems to be how a lot of people view it.

    Fatty's done some fine and noble stuff through his blog, and with or for Lance and Johan.

    How many people, especially fellow bloggers, would love to be given the opportunity to brown-nose Lance and Johan?

    How many of them would be far less kind-hearted once in that position?

  29. Looks wonderful. Great reading your post as well.Thanks

  30. Hey Ron, who knows you might be interested in my stupid humor over the TDF and the Lance lovers. You can check out some xtranormal videos I have been making here in order to express my distaste for the Lance lovers.

  31. Great stuff....lots of anonymous replies so you must be hitting the right notes...:)))

    ps Tom is wrong about Kimmage. ; )

  32. Wow! An interesting blog post! Absolutely plausible, but a bit on the conspiracy side. The follow up posts were fantastic as well.

    I love love love your insert of the frame geometry. It's brilliant. How did you create that? (the gadgetry)

    BTW: I found this blog via the Cycling Inquisition blog. He feels snubbed for not being included into the conspiracy. (He clearly needs to try harder).

  33. Ahhh....... Issuu - You Publish. Freakin' cool.

  34. Anonymous4:41 PM

    Has fat cyclist become anything but ads for the last few years??

    Cajun Cyclist

  35. Anonymous12:45 AM

    Hey Ron, you may want to look into the libel laws before you float more theories of criminal conspiracies. One of the people you're impugning has a habit of suing people who say bad things about him. It wouldn't help your case either that you admit in the cyclingforums that you don't have any facts to back up your claims...

  36. Say No To Doping5:09 AM

    And who are you, sir Anonymous? If you're somewhere near Armstrong, tell him to piss off and come clean would you?


Thank you. I read every single comment.