Sunday, July 25, 2010

Purge the jersey

Lance's Radio Shack team and Tour de France organizers had some friction on the last day of the epic event.  Lance wanted his team to run black jerseys with "28" emblazoned on them, to pay tribute to the 28 million individuals worldwide who are fighting a battle with cancer.

The team started the day in the jerseys, but was stopped and threatened with a disqualification for donning unauthorized apparel.Story link at

As a former director of professional competition for the American Motorcyclist Association, I can understand this dilemma.  The cause is noble, but event management is afraid of setting precedent that might influence and affect future issues with race wear.

What's your take on this conflict?  Let Lance run the special jersey?  Or did the tour maintain authority by demanding the apparel change?

I feel like a dimwit.  Took my 29er to the Kerr Scott Dam riding area and had a solid day, making the Overmountain Victory Trail out and back (6 miles each way).  Even added the Shiner's Run loop for an extra 2.5 miles.  Trouble came when my 29er  beat me to death; I was blaming the equipment for poor handling and suspension, until I realized I had the fork partially locked out.  Hard to let the fork work when it's in rigid setting.

Did well with the toe clips.  Took all the pressure off not being "clipped in" and I could ride more fluidly and with more momentum.  So the engine is pretty good and I'm comfortable with 14.5 miles of trail, but I need to get the bike right.  Suspension off the front and some creaking in the bottom bracket.  All part of the sport, all part of being able to say that at 53, I can still get 'er done.

While riding today, was thinking about my mother.  For many years, she enjoyed her bicycle and would tally the number of rides each season.  But two years ago, at 81, she made the decision to park the bike.  I know that decision took a little piece out of her.  It's the feeling of being a little kid with the wind in your hair (helmet?) no matter what one's age.

So for now, mountain biking is still in my tool kit.  I enjoy and embrace it.  Someday it will be time to park the knobbies, and that will be a sad day indeed.

1 comment:

  1. I say let them wear the special jersey. If you must fine the team, then go ahead -- but a threat of disqualification?? Too harsh.