As I sit on the cusp of a big change in my own personal life, I found myself pondering other changes taking place around me. “Change” somehow seems to be a theme that is thrust upon us every fall. It is hard not to think about change when the very colors of the trees around you draw attention to it in vivid reds and yellows. Well, assuming that there are trees around you, that is. Turns out that I don’t have to look very hard to find a whole lot of change in the cycling universe in just the last couple of days.
Going back to my own life, I’ve now accepted a position at a company right in my home town of Sacramento. Yup – that means I’m trading my three day a week 250 mile round trip commute for a 5 day a week 15 mile round trip. No more trains, buses, ferries or tunnels under the San Francisco bay for me. Instead, it will be all bike all the time. Is it a coincidence that my new job just happens to be almost exactly 15 miles round trip? I’m guessing it is more likely that I too am being controlled by some massive United Nations conspiracy using bicycles as the insidious means of mind control.
Admittedly that 4-6 hours a day spent otherwise idle on the trains made for some great blocks of time to write about cycling, and for that aspect I’ll miss it. I’ll miss some of the friends I’ve made to. But this is a change that I couldn’t be happier to have finally made.
Huh. This may actually be the last article I write on board Amtrak in the foreseeable future.
And since we’re talking about change, and I’ve already thrown in the obligatory leaves-changing-color literary device, let us throw in a cliche as well. The more things change, the more they stay the same. I’m speaking here of the Tour de France and doping. Yea, we’re on the cusp of a change there as well. Looks like Alberto Contador may find his 2010 TdF win taken back as he has tested positive for clenbuterol. The story being told by the Contador support team is that it was contaminated meat and not intentional usage that has lead to this positive test result.
Not only is Contador facing a potential loss of his TdF win (putting Schleck in first if you didn’t notice) but a 2 year suspension is the standard outcome for positive doping tests. And poor Riis over at Saxo Bank. He has watched rider after rider (after rider) depart his organization this season. The Riis response to the mass migration away from his organization seemed logical at first: if you lose the second place TdF finisher (and his brother, and his drinking buddies) why not just replace ‘em all with the first place finisher.
Riis is facing the very very real possibility of Team Saxo Bank not having a GC contender next season. And given that Saxo Bank almost pulled its sponsorship, and Sungard just came on board, well… it just might become Team No Name very quickly. That would be unfortunate for all involved.As much as I would have rather seen Andy Schleck take the title in the mountains of the Tour de France than in the bathrooms of doping control agencies, there is some good that might come of this. Contador is a great cyclist to watch. Getting two years off from the stupid finger pistol routine, however… now that is a change that I could embrace.