Why love a dirty sport? Well, because not all riders are dirty and because it's a beautiful sport. The roads of France were still lined today as the Tour rolled through their towns. Sure, many people booed and chided the riders, but they were still there to watch because of the amazing spectacle that is the Tour and cycling.Tim links to quite a few other commentaries about the whole doping scandal:
- Bike Hugger's: "With Interbike coming up, the Fall, and another bike season, I expect many are thinking of “other things” than racing. Like, comfort bikes, SUBs, cargo bikes, and the like."
- Rich Kelly on watching le Tour with the kids: “Daddy? Where’s Vino today?” Ooof.
- I also liked Donna's post: "We as the every day bike riders can still make sure that kids find the love of bike riding. It's not all about the pros. It's about all of us bike riders - there are a ton of us out there. Start your own Tour Day Neighborhood today. Don't sit around and stew about the 'state of the sport'. It's only the state of the pro sport that is in shambles. The state of bike riding is as great as it has always been."
- This article from ESPN on the transparency of le Tour athletes is fantastic.
The Tour is open. Most of the course is free of barricades. No tickets, no exorbitant parking, no luxury boxes. All it takes to be part of it is whatever effort you want to put into getting there and setting up your folding chairs and your picnic table.
Fans can walk right up to the top-heavy rolling locker rooms called team buses at the finish and plant themselves in a rider's path when he wheels in still lathered in sweat from covering more than 100 grueling miles.
If doping scandals make you doubt that the physical feats you see in a bike race are real, look again. Look at the whole sport. It's convulsing in a very real, human, imperfect way. Things may get worse before they get better, though it's hard to imagine how much worse they could be than they were this week at the Tour de France.
Finally, here's some more troubling news about Rasmussen, who's been accused now of smuggling plums. (Via TdF Blog.)