I love the bicycle and I love cycling. The reason… Almost my entire life it has given me so much, and to this day continues to do so.
As a child I fell in love with the bicycle, which later lead to some success as a racing cyclist and was instrumental in building my self esteem. This otherwise might not have happened and my life could have taken a totally different course.
My interest in cycling lead to a career in building bicycles, which eventually brought me to the United States, and again affected the course of my life. My bicycle and cycling continue to give me joy and satisfaction to this day, every time I ride.
When something is a passion in someone’s life, it is only natural they want to share it with others, so that they too might find the same joy and passion. I look on it as “Giving Back” in return for something that has given me so much.
For this reason I find the current news stories that are dominating the sport of cycling these days, extremely disturbing; namely the whole issue of doping in professional cycling.
The two main players in this story are Lance Armstrong and Pat McQuaid, who is the President of the UCI, the world governing body of the sport of cycling. (Both are pictured above.)
If ever there were two people who owe everything they are today to cycling, it is these two.
It can be said that Lance Armstrong has in return done much for cycling, especially in the US; but it is a “Chicken/Egg” situation where the bicycle came first, and cycling made the man.
Pat McQuaid was an average pro racing cyclist who would be for the most part forgotten now if his un-illustrious career as a professional cyclist had not eventually lead to his Presidency of the UCI. Again had it not been for the bicycle and cycling the bold Pat would not be the UCI Pres.
Neither Armstrong or McQuaid would be where they are today, anymore than I would have been a bicycle framebuilder and writing here today, if it were not for cycling.
LA is an extremely wealthy man due to his earnings from cycling. McQuaid draws a substantial salary as President of the UCI. My own financial standing pales by comparison to these two, but I am still grateful for all that cycling has given me and continues to give.
It irks me to see these two who should be so much more grateful to the sport of cycling, continue to inflict harm with the charade of lies and deceit.
Lance Armstrong has done much to bring awareness to cancer; I just wish he would put the same effort into bringing awareness to doping in sport, so that future generations do not feel they have to do that. I wish he would say, “Okay, I doped, but then so did everyone else.” Then we could move forward.
Pat McQuaid simply says that the doping problem is not his fault or that of the UCI. Well if not the UCI’s problem then whose? It would be like the Federal Government saying the use of illegal drugs is not their problem.
I can only come to the conclusion that Lance Armstrong and Pat McQuaid do not love cycling; or if they do, they love their own importance and their own egos, more than cycling.
Allowed to continue they will do great harm to the sport; the IOC (The Olympic Governing Body.) could bar cycling from the Olympics if the UCI does not get its act together and replace McQuaid soon.
More reading on the subject: