This is usually the time of year when I start to feel worn out by bikes, but this year I am REALLY worn out by bikes. I usually try to at least write a perfunctory account of every race I participate in, so I will do that for the past 4 races I participated in. In my last four races I: finished 4th at FBF in a field sprint, crashed at Maltese (I'm fine, I cannily chose to land on the party that crashed in front of me), finished in the field at FBF, and helped a teammate place third in a CRCA point's race. There, the race report's out of the way, and now we can get to the main reason I'm worn out by bikes this year.
As you may have heard, my teammate David Anthony tested positive for EPO at the Grand Fondo New York. Yup, EPO. At a Fondo. Of course he wasn't doping to win the Fondo, as that would be tremendously sad, he was doping to win amateur races, which actually might be even sadder. He was using pro-level methods of doping to compete against part time racers with full time jobs and fuller time families. A notion I find near completely incomprehensible. The idea that anyone would willfully undertake the effort to alter their body chemistry in order to beat a bunch of accountants to me is unfathomable.
But he did it, and there's no denying it. And he was my teammate. Cycling is a sport that can take over the lives of those that allow it to. Cycling can dictate what you eat, how much you sleep, when you wake, how much time you spend (or don't spend) with friends and family—it rewards the obsessive. And for some that obsession takes them into dark territory. David was always a dedicated cyclist. He had the time to train and prepare in ways I could never dream of, and somewhere along the line, his dedication led him to start doping.
As a team, we on BH/Comedy Central have never cared about results, we are certainly happy when a teammate does well and we congratulate them on any success, but we don't require results to be on the team. We race for one another, and win or lose, we're still teammates. Sadly, David didn't believe this. He mistook what our team stood for. In his distorted view of our team, he wasn't accepted if he wasn't winning, but none of us ever felt that way. To us, bringing together a good group of racers was more important than winning. We've always had one philosophy on the team, "no dicks" (I'm grandfathered in, thanks), but now that philosophy will have to have an asterisk next to it, because doping is nothing other than a dick move.
David is now off the team, and will never be invited back. He lied to me and my teammates for an extended period of time, and that's a bell that will stay rung. It will cover every interaction that we've had and will ever have with a patina of distrust. We think less of him, but we are his teammates. We raced together and offered our help to one another. We carried each other's bottles, so to speak, and in this case we will have to carry the water bottle filled with the tepid water of David's pathetic actions—and that's unfair, but that's the way it is.
CRCA A race, March 27, 2010
CRCA A Race, August 30, 2009
I've been racing at Harlem since 1995 or thereabouts (I moved to the East Coast in late 1993, and it took a year or so for me to figure out where all the races were by combing through the back page