About 14 months ago, I decided to start this blog. I did it on a whim, while watching the end of the 2006 Tour de France. Honestly, I didn’t know what I would write about or how long this would last.
I figured I would comment on races, riders, and other things related to the world of professional cycling. I would try to add my perspective on tactics, race topography, and anything else that struck my fancy. Doping and the dark side of cycling was not on my agenda. The day after my first post, the whispers started about a rider testing positive in a doping test. That rumor was later confirmed and the finger was all but pointed at Floyd Landis when Pat McQuaid called it the “Worst possible scenario.”
I didn’t realize it at the time but the circus was pulling into town. This circus would block cycling’s media sun. Nothing but this story would be allowed to grow for the next year.
I made a deliberate attempt to comment on a variety of topics in addition to the Floyd Landis situation. I felt that the riders in the peloton deserved what little attention I could give. The funny thing was, if I mentioned Floyd Landis in my post, I would see an increase in traffic by approximately 30%.
After the Vuelta and the Worlds, the cycling season was winding down and the Floyd Landis story kicked into high gear. The story grew in attention and, more importantly, complexity. Fortunately for the cycling community, two blogs surfaced that gave us civilians a front row seat for the proceedings.
First, all of us who call ourselves cycling fans owe a debt to the folks at Trust But Verify. This went from zero to the most authoritative site on the web within nanoseconds. While David and company profess a bias towards believing in Floyd, their candor at presenting all sides of the story is impressive.
TBV continued to make the complex simple as we wandered into the incredibly technical realm of drug testing. The group provided detailed explanations of the case so each of us could cut through the rhetoric and form our own reasoned opinions. I honestly believe that the success of TBV is a reason behind the “Wiki defense” strategy developed and implemented by the Floyd Landis team.
If you are currently a reader of TBV, take a moment and reflect on the amount of time, effort, and dedication put into this site over the past year+. Remember, these folks have lives and day jobs. If you have yet to stop by, take a few minutes to look through the site, I guarantee you will be in awe of the quality and quantity of information contained. Regardless of your opinions in this case, you have to give TBV credit in the formation of that opinion. Thank you, we can never repay the favor.
Secondly, I have to thank another blog, Rant Your Head Off. Dan (Rant) provided context and commentary to the data presented at TBV. The ultimate irony is that the title of his blog suggests thoughtless ravings dripping with vitriol, it is completely the opposite.
Many sites, including this one, provide opinion and commentary on the days events, RYHO’s posts are on an unparalleled level of thoughtfulness and insight. I never walk away unsatisfied. Generally, I walk away a little smarter than I was before. Think his New York Times to my local shopper.
There have been many other blogs where I wandered in to read and enjoy. They range from as close as Connecticut to as far away as Australia. I will not call those out for fear of forgetting someone. I did feel the need to send a note of thanks to the two mentioned above. The downside of blogging is a minimal return communication from those of us who benefit from your words and insight.
So, back to the traditional snarky commentary.