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June 15, 2009

Curse of the cycling fan: My codependent relationship with the sport

So I'm sure that a few of you have wondered what's up with this weblog. Generally, I wind things up a lot earlier in the season, offering race results and analyses of Paris-Nice, the Spring Classics, and certainly the Giro and Dauphiné.

I've got to admit, however, that it's getting harder and harder to follow our sport. Every year, it seems, we've got a crop of outstanding new riders who offer breakout performances at the Tour. And every damn year, it seems, it turns out many, even most, of those performances have been chemically enhanced. Ullrich. Basso. Rasmussen. Schumacher. Kohl. Ricco and Piepoli. And yes, Floyd Landis. (Ask me again tomorrow, and I may be back to rationalizing for Landis).

It's enough to turn a fan against cycling. When, for April Fool's Day, Briggs Heaney posted that he was giving up on cycling, I almost bought it, because I shared a lot of his offered reasons. Certainly, it's been enough to turn off some of the other bloggers whose writing and commentary I have enjoyed, including Wim van Rossum, who used to maintain the indispensible cycling4all and the blogger who ran Cycling Fans Anonymous.

So why don't I flip the switch and lock the doors around here? Because, when the action starts, I've got to watch it. I loved this year's Giro, with Di Luca seemingly turning himself inside out day after day, and Menchov matching every move. Mark Cavendish and his team are just astounding. When April rolled around with no Tour de Georgia, I missed it something fierce.

On the other hand, I'm going to change my focus a little bit, back to more of a link-blog. I started this weblog with BoingBoing and Glenn Reynolds' Instapundit (he's authored 10 posts while you've been reading this) as models, and with only TypePad as an authoring tool.

Now, with the rise of Twitter and other social media, I plan on migrating real-time race updates, breaking news, and quick link-only posts to Twitter (I did race updates on Twitter last year -- at http://www.twitter.com/TdFblog ), with stage summaries, photo gallery links, and commentary here on the weblog.

Byron and I are talking about how best to incorporate some Tour coverage on Bike Hugger, as well. Thanks for reading (since 2003!), and for all your comments and feedback.

Posted by Frank Steele on June 15, 2009 in 2009 Tour de France, About the site, Top Stories | Permalink


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I understand your feelings but am glad that you're back. I have kept a vacant space on my MyYahoo page for the past year for this blog.

The number of drug cases over the past three years has moved many fans from skeptical to cynical. It's now almost impossible to see a great young climber like Andy Shleck without wondering if he's doubting. Fans want to see him pass a few drug tests before they'll let themselves get interested. It's sad but I ultimately think it's just another phase.

Posted by: Peter Horan at Jun 16, 2009 10:09:20 AM

For what it's worth cycling does deal with this issue. Most pro sports in the US have their head in the sand. How many pro football players have been busted for steroids? Can you imagine what would happen if the USADA tested players from baseball, football, basketball, etc...

Posted by: john at Jun 17, 2009 11:31:42 AM

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