Let's get Postal:
A bunch of the people I know and ride bikes with have sent me that link in the last week or so. As you can read (if you can read) Lance and a small assembly of fellow former dopers, now well past their primes, will be toeing the line at The Old Pueblo 24 hour race next month. I'm not sure what it says about me, or you, that so many of you sent me that link. But you did.
My first reaction was, like most people, "They still have 24 hour races?" Talk about a dying corner of our sport. I honestly didn't suspect there were any of those still going on that were nearly big enough to stroke the collective, enormous ego of Lance, Hincapie, etc. That's a lot of stroking for one race. But come to find out The 24OP is alive and well.
My second thought was, again like most people, "Who the fuck is Dylan Casey?" Indeed, on a short list of former dopers that reads a little like a who's who of has-been old guys who cheated to win around the turn of the century, Dylan Casey stands out in that he doesn't. Given the company he is keeping, I can only assume he's an aging, mostly-reformed ex-doper pal of Lance's. I gave his Wikipedia entry a quick glance, and though there's no specific mention of doping there, I think most people would infer by the timing of his career and the company he is keeping that he was juiced like any good teammate was around that time. Also, he appears to have been some kind of exec at Yahoo, which is the free email equivalent of v-brakes, so you know he's...he's...
At this point I stopped. I just stopped. Why on earth am I reading and thinking about this? I'm literally getting worked up and grasping at insults to sling at a guy I know nothing about.
I think people sent me this link because they know i get worked up about this sort of thing, and they were sort of trying to decide if they should too. If Hesjedal was on the team, fine, I'd flip out, because I'm weird about that. But he's not. It's easy to jump to all the normal angry conclusions - that Lance should not be allowed to race bikes, even at unsanctioned events. That they'll steal part of the magic of the race. That they don't deserve to pin on a number at all. That the promoters should ban them from participating. Etc. etc. This is what the news does to you now.
Most of these are the kind of thoughts that I have on days when I don't ride my bike.
So I did the right thing, which is ride, and I came back, and honestly, suddenly, I didn't care.
And therein lies the secret recipe, and the reason why Lance and his gang should be allowed to race, and things will be just fine in The Old P next month - people who are riding their bikes don't care. Lance won't care. Vandevelde won't care. The guys in the campsite next to theirs won't care. The guys that beat them won't care. The guys that get beaten won't feel like victims. And you and I here at home reading about this and wondering if we should be bothered by it - we'll ride here, and we won't care either. That's what happens when you stop reading the news, stop looking for something to be pissed off about, and just ride:
The little shit that does not matter won't.
There's an obvious link here, and a conclusion to be drawn about the nature of how we react to both VeloNews and regular news and the near constant supply of digital headaches to be read and loathe. You'll have to arrive at your own conclusions, but I'll stand by this one:
I think it's time we leave Lance alone. For our own sake, not for his.
We've got better things to be worried about.
Up, up, up.