Saturday, July 29, 2006

A Diversion: Why I Love Cycling

So when as why I love cycling, the only reason to come forward is that it’s like a best friend and like old friends I have had fights with my bikes, fights which have given me a concussion and several scars and numerous near death experiences. My bike rides have showed me more places and taught me more things than I can list; I have meet people though my bikes; I have also found jobs with them and vacationed with them; and just as friends do, it also has grown with me. The relationship now is far less innocent and is taken less for granted; nonetheless, what remains is the knowing that every time I cross a leg over the saddle and clip my shoes into the pedals, it’s going to be a fun time out, with a faithful friend. That is why I love cycling.
- Benjamin Lyon, "Why I Love Cycling" (


Blogger hughw said...

Hey FF, if you haven't seen the post by Ray Cipollini over at Daily Peloton, you must:

It's an indictment of the system for detecdting and convicting drug cheats. On the mark!

Thanks for the good work on this blog!

3:08 PM  
Blogger hughw said...

Sorry, here's the
article by Ray Cipollini

3:12 PM  
Blogger trust_but_verify said...

Inspired by FFL here, I've started my own gas-bag at . I hope not to overlap with this too much.


12:05 AM  
Blogger arborjimb said...


Maybe you can help me with this question. The tour tests the stage winner and the yellow jersey holder every day (in additon to two randonly selected riders).

Landis won stage 17 into Morzine on Thursday July 20. His "A" sample failed the T-E ratio (from what we understand). But, on Tuesday July 18 (stage 15) he was in yellow and sussposedly passed. Furthermore, on Saturday July 22 (Stage 19, the time trial) he was back in yellow again and supposedly was tested and passed.

How unusual would it be for someone to test negative on Tuesday, Positive on Thursday and neagtive again on Saturday? Can one alter their body chemistry that much in 48 hours?

11:21 AM  
Blogger arborjimb said...

Don't know if this is new information, but the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal has the following passages:

Our print Journal colleague, Sam Walker, unearthed a novel explanation that could excuse Mr. Landis (and earn respect from Bode Miller). The cyclist, angered at his performance the day before, drank heavily last Wednesday night: two beers and at least four shots of whiskey.

"Mr. Landis said he hasn't seen the test results, but people close to his Phonak cycling team said the ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone in his urine sample was 11 to 1, above the acceptable threshold of 4 to 1," Mr. Walker writes. "Studies, including one conducted in 1996 at the National Public Health Institute in Helsinki, Finland, and one in 1988 at Huddinge Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden, indicate alcohol consumption can raise this ratio. Some researchers say the increase can be anywhere from 30% to more than 200%. Mr. Landis said he wasn't familiar with the research until he was told of it yesterday."


The night before Stage 17, Mr. Landis said, while gathered with friends and teammates, he prepared for the strenuous mountain stage by drinking two beers and at least four shots of whiskey.

The revelation that Mr. Landis was drinking the night before the test could be significant. According to several studies, alcohol consumption can increase the ratio between testosterone and epitestosterone, which occur naturally in the body. Mr. Landis failed the test because it showed an elevated ratio between the two.

According to Mr. Landis, the drinks weren't part of his usual training. "I don't ordinarily ever drink alcohol during a race," he said yesterday. But earlier that day, during Stage 16, Mr. Landis had faded in the Alps, surrendering the leader's yellow jersey and falling more than eight minutes behind. Afterward, he was all but convinced that the race was over for him. "What would you have done?" he asked. "Until yesterday, that was the worst day of my life."

1:34 PM  
Blogger Christy Hammond said...

I made a post about this whole fiasco - please let me know if I made any errors in my posting!

9:32 PM  
Blogger Draculich said...

More on Floyd's doping problems here:

7:12 AM  
Blogger arborjimb said...

Landis Requests Backup Sample of Test

Tour De France Champion Floyd Landis Requests Backup Sample to Clear Doping Allegations


MADRID, Spain Jul 31, 2006 (AP)— Tour de France champion Floyd Landis officially requested the testing of his backup urine sample Monday in an effort to clear his name of doping allegations.

"We've sent the fax to the UCI this afternoon," said Jose Maria Buxeda, one of Landis's two Spanish lawyers, of the Swiss-based International Cycling Union. "Now we'll have to adjust to their calendar."

Landis tested positive for elevated testosterone levels following the 17th stage of the Tour de France, where he made a stunning solo breakaway in the Alps to put himself back into contention for victory after a poor performance the previous day.

If the "B" test is negative, Landis would be cleared. If it's positive, the 30-year-old American would face formal doping charges and could be stripped of his Tour victory and banned for two years.

Buxeda said he's not sure when the B test will be carried out at the Paris doping laboratory, though it could be sometime this week. Landis, who has returned to the United States, is willing to attend the analysis depending on the date, Buxeda said.

Landis's lawyers say they fully expect the backup test to confirm the original finding.

Landis, speaking in Madrid on Friday, said his test results had nothing to do with doping, and that the high level of testosterone in his body was the result of his natural physiology.

Testosterone is a naturally occurring male hormone that is banned when it is found in a ratio greater than 4:1 to another hormone, epitestosterone.

Oscar Pereiro of Spain, who finished second overall in the Tour de France, would be declared the winner if Landis loses the Tour de France title.

It would be the first time in the history of the Tour of France that the winner has been disqualified for doping.

1:28 PM  
Blogger JimmyMc said...

That's a great piece.

6:50 AM  

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