Bikes on drugs

Posted by SuperClydesdale on June 8, 2010 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

As a father, I live in constant fear of drugs and performance-enhancing substances of all types invading my home, and implore my children to make good choices.  Now, another worry:  my bike could be doping.  I was out on vacation last week and didn’t have the opportunity to address this new social ill, and was surprised to see yet another way that smaller riders can distance themselves from us larger boys – the electric bike, or “bike doping.”

Apparently some people are gullible enough to believe that Fabian Cancellara would attempt to use – successfully if the charge were to hold – an electric motor to assist his victories in the Tour of Flanders and the Paris-Roubaix.  This motor would be hidden in the frame, yet be powerful enough to propel the Swiss rider enough to make a difference.

While I find it hard to believe that for a professional rider, who count every ounce as a competitive disadvantage, that the potential assist of an electric motor – along with the batteries that would be required – would outweigh (literally) the weight of the unit over a long ride.  That would have to be one light, efficient motor.

Add to that the fact that a rider would risk a lifetime of ridicule for such an absurd act, from respected Cialis athlete and babe magnet (for deranged women who like skinny little whippets) to a verb.  “He was Cancellara’d by a guy with an illegal bike,” or, perhaps worse, “his victory in Stage 8 was Cancellara’d, and he was banned from cycling for 2 years.”  I doubt it.  But… the cynical Italians making the case for this have a pretty interesting video summary on youtube that makes you wonder.   I was, after all, a huge defender of Floyd Landis.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of this whole saga is that this is yet another thing that a Clydesdale like myself could never even attempt.   Imagine the size of the electric motor and battery that would be required to haul my big 223lb butt up any climb.  It would look like a Harley-Davidson.

It’s not fair!  I would like to have such a thing.

It would be a hoot to ride up a steep grade, apparently pedaling (without my hands on the bars) with my water bottle in one hand, and a Powerbar in the other.   I’m snacking up the climb, while passing the guys in my riding group who are suffering up the steep grade.  “You guys really need to work on your strength!   This is really not a difficult climb!   Powerbar anyone?”

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