Thursday, April 14, 2011
Wiki leaks...exposes the rift between runners and cyclists
More from Wiki-Leaks...Disclaimer: the names have been changed to protect the _____.....A recently obtained correspondence between a notable elite runner (with an infinity for snowshoe racing) and a “has-been” cyclist.
Cable #1: Dearest X: I am still growing in my ability to understand and appreciate the sport of cycling---In bike racing, as often as not, the best man doesn't win the race. The luckiest man, with the right equipment, the right team, who fell into the right group, with just enough fitness, is the man who wins the race. In some ways this makes cycling crueler than running; it has the feel of being directed by fate not action. At the same time, this bothers me. Most bike races, in my opinion, are not really races---they are too orchestrated to call them races. Analyzing my cycling loyalties, this is why I like time trialists. That is the closest thing to "real" racing in my opinion----where, barring mechanicals, the best rider wins. Everybody knows that Fabian Cancellara was the best rider last weekend (Flanders) and this past weekend (Paris Roubaix) but he didn't win. More specifically, he wasn't allowed to win. Directors in the team cars made decisions to prevent him from winning, even at the cost of having their lesser riders beat their better riders. While I find this intellectually stimulating, it violates my preconceived notions about what racing is and isn't. Had the entire course been a time trial, I wouldn't doubt that Cancellara would have won by 10 minutes or more. While Cancellara seems to accept this fate, I do not. In cycling, I believe there is a lot of mediocre talent hiding in the peleton. In running, there is no hiding. With guarded respect, Y.
Cable #2: Dearest Y: Your assessment disappoints, I had hoped for more insight from a man of your abilities. Are you not feeling well? Break from your myopic Utopian view of sport! The world is complex and inherently unpredictable. The notion of the purity of athleticism is folly. You state correctly that in cycling the best man often does not win. The same can be said in all of life's endeavors. Luck swings in unpredictable ways, but I will concede that the foot race on a flat track in a controlled environment is about as pure as one can get when it comes to determining the elementary, albeit artificial question of who is the fastest at a given distance. But beyond that the almost infinite contributing factors (even such things as temperature, humidity, track conditions, etc.) play major roles in outcomes. The great time trialist must fit a certain physical mold just as the great climber or the great marathoner. Look at how the Kenyans fair in the high humidity, or how “unfair” it is for low land runners to compete at altitudes. Please reflect on this important topic and seek flexibility in your thinking.... Concerned, X.
Cable #3: Memo… To: X From: Y
Re: Cycling as pseudo-sport and/or sport-lite?
Dear Sir: I have come to the conclusion that while cycling is not inferior as an activity or pursuit, it is inferior as a test of man's athletic ability in relation to the athletic ability of other men (sport). It is not competition in a pure sense (as is all running sport). In cycling, the bike engineers and builders are competing against the other bike engineers and builders, SRAM is competing against Shimano, Mavic is competing against HED, Continental is competing against Ritchey, Fisik is competing against Bontrager, Garmin is competing against Suunto, Team Sky is competing against Saxo-Bank, Director Jonathan Vaughters is competing against Director Bjarne Riis...........................and finally-------------------------rider is competing against rider. Riders are pawns in a larger game of chess. The very few who are athletically gifted do, in fact, shine occasionally, but norm is that inferior athletes, who are treated as human chemistry projects with the intent of making each rider have the exact same racing potential, end up on the podium. Some riders' physiology is altered through chemistry to make for effective performance uphill, or on flats, or for short bursts of speed, but the goal is to make the inferior passable and useful in the game of chess. In many ways, bike racing is like NASCAR. Not to mention the similarly low IQ of their fanships, both "sports" do everything they can to dilute the impact of individual talent, in favor of artificially-leveled playing fields. As a complex thinker, I have come to appreciate cycling as one does WWE wrestling. It is a show, filled with drama, multiple story lines, and a facade of competition. For those of us who have a different intellectual pedigree, we may outwardly scoff at cycling, but within our circle we discuss cycling as post-modern motif of Neo-conservatism. You may have read my paper on the topic, "Johan Bruyneel and Scott Walker---Unwitting rubes in Koch Brothers Intelligent Design." Running, on the other hand, is as pure an activity as possible in our soiled world. Barefoot, with just a cloth to cover one's loins, a runner looks into the eyes of another man and launches forward for a distance to determine individual supremacy. Like Howard Roark in Ayn Rand's seminal work, The Fountainhead, all runners are an embodiment of the human spirit, and running races represents the triumph of individualism over collectivism (as discussed further in my widely known dissertation). You and your cycling friends are all eunuchs. With contempt, Y.
Cable #4: Mr. Y: Your cretinism progresses. I have read your recent rants solely with the interest of a concerned professional intent on helping you find solace and thus have taken the liberty to forward your diatribes to the National Institute for the Advancement of Deranged Runners (NIADR), where it is hoped that you can get the help you so obviously crave. The decades of being called, "just another skinny runner," combined with the repeated “snuggies” you endured in grammar school has taken there toll on you. Help me, help you. Note: The experts @ NIADR have asked that I continue this dialogue so as to tempt out further conveyances, presumably to be used as diagnostic glimpses into your troubled psyche. Perhaps by helping you we can learn to assist all of the tormented running community. A community that left unchecked represents a significant security risk to the American people. My initial thinking on your preoccupation with manliness is that it has its genesis as a simple manifestation of what Freud calls a “trapped id.” Whilst the ancestors of the modern cyclist stayed and fought the Saber-toothed tiger rightly winning the right to procreate with diva cave women. The precursors to the modern runner, ran away and hid and then did some stretching and went to the cave dances as wall-flowers... Thus as a group, the runners of antiquity stood idle (or did some “stretching”) whilst the ancient cyclists engaged the natural, albeit masculine activities retained solely by the Alpha males of the pack. As time progressed the future cyclists evolved massive quads, unfettered libidos, and become hunters and surgeons and hedge fund managers, and dated rock stars. Whilst future runners gathered herbs and twigs, developed more feminine and delicate physiques, and formed public unions, whole-food CO-OPS and the like. Why do you people “skip” before the race? Try to get some rest, X.