I've been kicking around some thoughts for my new post for a few days. Cool, fun stuff like how I got a Garmin 500 and now I track how many feet it is from the couch to the bathroom. Or, like how I raced in the BAM Knifeblade last weekend and had my best race in, oh, 12-15 years. Then, a "little" incident in the Tour de France created a whole shit storm in my life and the life of the cyclists everywhere.
Here is the "little" incident.
And yet, my disgust with this whole thing doesn't lie with the driver of that French TV car. Oh no. It lies with the stupid jackass Michael Smith that appeared on the TV program Around The Horn that is on ESPN. He made light of the crash saying it was funny and the whole panel made comments disparaging cycling and the drug scandals that have rocked it in the last decade (although, where the FUCK the connection with what happened and doping is I'll never know).
Good lord, I don't even know where to start with this. First, let me get this out in the open. I am a sports fan. I like to follow MLB and I love the NFL (and more importantly the Pittsburgh Steelers) although I don't find my personal self worth in how the NFL does like a lot of people do. That being said, if something like this happened to their darlings like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady ALL of those stupid asses on that show would have been extolling their valor, shouting from the mountain tops. But, because it happened in a sport that happens in Europe and doesn't involve a ball, they don't get it, so they, like stupid fucking jocks in a high school locker room, make fun of it.
Second, the doping jokes (at least by those that are American sports fans) are done. Cycling is working HARD to get the sport clean. Is it perfect? Not by a long shot. But can you imagine if an NFL star or a MLB star got caught for doping and got a 2 YEAR BAN like cyclists get? Give me a break. When star linebacker Shawn Merriman got popped for steroids a year or two ago all anyone could ask was when was he coming back? Did anyone make him a pariah like they did with Tyler or Floyd? Hell no. When he came back, Charger fans welcomed him with open arms, saying thank GOD he's back, now we can get back to winning. Really...how hypocritical can you get? On one hand, you've got guys that are WAY bigger than a human can get naturally and you're singing his praises and on the other hand you're saying cycling is stupid because guys that are riding farther in 3 weeks than these analyst fucks get driven around by their "driver".
Third, the real problem with this whole thing is what it does to the average cyclist on the street. Really, does it effect Johnny Hoogerland? Not in the least. He doesn't even know who Michael Smith of ESPN is, or more importantly, give a shit. Nope. But, let me share an interaction I had on the commute home from work on Wednesday evening. Rolling towards a red light, there was a string of cars stopped. As I rolled between the cars and the curb I hear a fucking in-bred troll of a woman, from behind the wheel of her clapped out '82 Chevy pickup, yell at me, "There is a bike path right over there!" I locked up the brakes and backed up a bit and asked her if she had a problem. She repeats the comment. I tell her I have a legal right to be on the road. She once again, like a stupid parrot that learned a new phrase to get a saltine, repeated the bike path comment. I told her that I am a vehicle and I can legally be on the road. Thankfully the light turned green and I rode away.
This is where the problem lies. We get a bunch of low IQ fucks watching that video of a car smoking cyclists and then listening to assholes like Michael Smith say its funny, throw in a bit of Jackass, some alcohol and a iPhone and you've got people in 2 ton cars trying to reenact that crash for their glorious YouTube moment (fuck Andy Warhol and his 15 minutes of fame). It creates more hatred for cyclists from car commuters. It adds fuel to the fire in the war that is brewing between these different modes of transportation.
And I know those inbred asses will spout the First Amendment bullshit. Yes, the First Amendment protects our speech, but I still can't go into a movie theater and yell "FIRE". That shit isn't protected. And what happened on ESPN is akin to yelling fire in a theater. So, pop over to ESPN.com and send a comment to them that we, as cyclists, are NOT going to take this shit. I've already written 3 different letters. I hope you do too.