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THIS IS A FACT: african- american males make up about 6 percent of the USA population...yet about 40 percent of those in prison are african-american males...based on this, i see no reason why black men shouldnt have curfews, be subject to random searches, be required to present id at any moment, not be allowed to drink alcohol or use drugs (and require mandatory drug testing), and have to pass a test in order to have a child. in DC black males fill the prisons almost exclusively.

of course, all of this is bullshit: black males are VICTIMS not the cause of social problems...LIKEWISE for bicyclists.

picking on cyclists is cowardly and not productive for a quality of life improvement because by ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE the car-infrastructure and LACK OF enforcement of car road laws is the FUNDAMENTAL causes of quality of life decline. supporting this stupidity requires foreign wars, and massive HANDOUTS to effectively "socialize" the suburbs, including gasoline.

as this is old fucking news...

washcycle, dont be a mealy-mouthed liberal on this and support the crackdown on those cyclists who break the law...even when theyre "scoffalws"...yeah, we know you HAVE to such such banal stupid shit in this culture to gain legitimacy...but you could also simply be silent.

picking on cyclists is fashionable; and it is BLATANTLY disciminatory as well as stupid: cars are the problems, folks. get all the bikes off the roads and see if that helps any...oh right, we already have the cars off the beltway...or rockville pike...or rt 29/lee hwy...and see how well that works?...how beautiful the landscape is and how high the quality of life is in those car-mono-cultures? horrendous!!

here's the good news: the "crackdown" on cyclists is not sustainable! so, i will continue to ride safe...and ignore the car roads rules...

yesterday i rode through fort meyer...after being told at the gate that i had to put my helmet on to ride through..so, since im RATIONAL, i said sure i'll just walk to the corner and put my helmet on...and when i walked out of sight io got on bike and road out through fort meyer waving to the morons at the gate i exited...without my helmet on, because i dont ride with a helmet...

most bicyclists, through a self-selective process, are like artists -- they make lousy slaves...



Re: Contador.
There has not been a large amount of evidence against him -- Huh? There is an undisputed positive drug test finding. That is the violation for which he is being suspended (and his one year suspension is half the typical suspension). And his story is incredible in that he has not presented evidence to support the drug-in-the-meat defense.

KK, There is ONE undisputed positive drug test finding, out of how many hundreds of drug tests? That's my point. I know it's the rules and all, but if it's possible to test positive from eating beef - something I've not heard disputed - then it's a possible explanation.

satan, I don't mean to be mealy-mouthed. I don't support cyclist crackdowns. Traffic crackdowns that include cyclists are OK, but crackdowns on just cyclists are discriminatory without reason.

@satan

You may want to reconsider disrespecting the rules while riding through Ft. Meyer. As a military facility I assume that permitting cyclists to transit through is done as a courtesy.

If the base commander gets tired of cyclists flaunting their rules they may close the base.

Closing Ft Meyer to all cyclists would be a shame. It wouldn't kill you to wear a helmet for a half an hour would it?

I know that non-cyclists reading this blog have to look at satan's posts and get a negative image of cyclists in general. Why the need for so much profanity and rants? I suspect that it makes other people want to crack down on cyclists even more. Presentation and perception are important. It doesn't help when others think that cyclists are out of control (on roads and on web forums).

As for Contador, there is a very plausible reason why the level of clenbuterol was so low. It was reported that plasticizers were found at high levels in his blood. That usually indicates the use of blood that has been stored in plastic bags. That is only done during blood transfusions. For a healthy athlete, this is a clear sign of blood doping.

The theory is that Contador may have been using relatively large amounts of clenbuterol earlier in the year. Then he had the blood withdrawn and stored for later use. That blood sample may have been contaminated with the clenbuterol because he mistimed the process. Then he had the blood re-transfused during the Tour de France, allegedly.

Blood doping is a very powerful (illegal) tool for endurance athletes, so it's clear why he would be tempted to do that. I'm not saying that he definitely used a prohibited blood transfusion, but there is evidence to indicate that he did so.

There have been positive clenbuterol tests in Spanish meat but the incidence is exceedingly rare, something like a tiny, tiny fraction of one percent. It's hard to believe that he got unlucky and consumed tainted meat when the presence of the plasticizers in his blood more than hint that blood doping was going on, along with significant clenbuterol use at an earlier point in the training year.

I guess a one-year ban would be an OK compromise. Don't forget that his team had also been barred from the Tour twice this decade because of the drug histories of some of the team members. Among those team members was Alexandre Vinokourov, a Tour stage winner who was found guilty of blood doping.

There's an awful lot going on there, with and around Contador. As they say, where there's smoke...

As an aside to the Guangzhou story, there's a rumor going around this week that the Chinese government wants to "combine" six urban areas in southern China, including Guangzhou, to form one large metropolitan district, in effect creating the world's largest city. It would be something like 42 million people.

Of course it could just be similar to some bureaucrat deciding one day that Washington and Baltimore are really one city, when they really aren't.

Anyway, it would be interesting if the "world's largest city" was seen to be bike-friendly.

On Contador, I'm reminded of an episode of Law & Order when they had determined that either an elderly woman had taken her own life and her granddaughter helped her hide that so that she could be buried in a Catholic cemetery or the granddaughter had killed her because she was tired of taking care of her. If it were the first the granddaughter was innocent. If the second she'd go to prison for 20 years. So they allowed her to plead guilty to a crime that carried a 5 year sentence. Which is a wholly unsatisfying outcome regardless of which was the case.

That's how this is. If he's guilty, he's getting off too easy. If he's innocent, he's getting screwed. But that's life I guess.

I suspect many people would still trade places with him (possibly even Lance Armstrong pending his investigation).


As for Michael H., he writes:

“I know that non-cyclists reading this blog have to look at satan's posts and get a negative image of cyclists in general. Why the need for so much profanity and rants? I suspect that it makes other people want to crack down on cyclists even more. Presentation and perception are important. It doesn't help when others think that cyclists are out of control (on roads and on web forums).”


Oh brother. HOW MANY damn times will this tired, pointless position be paraded around? Even Grant Petersen, founder of Rivendell Bicycles, and known to only take a strong stand on neutrality, sees through the stupidity of the common retort made by Michael H:

“You often hear your fellow bicyclists say something along the lines of "every time you (do something that isn't carlike), you spoil it for the rest of us."
Is that really true? If it is, why is it true for bicycle riders and not car drivers? You don't hear them complaining about other motorists spoiling their reputation. I think, if somebody in a car can figure out that not all car drivers are exactly the same, the same "one bad apple" approach should apply to bike riders, too.”

I suppose the reason we cant get the damn trails plowed after a snow – which are crucial in this region as connectors – is because we bicyclists just havent behaved properly! ASSININE!!!

It is embarassing to be an American these days....especially as it comes to sustainable, practical transportation, and that’s not a rant dumb ass. Bicycling advocacy is to advance a better TRANSPORTATION future, and a better quality of life IN GENERAL! -- NOT JUST A better bicycle future! What will it take for bicyclists to get this??!!!! ARRRRGGGGHHHHHH...

Try thinking for yourself one of these days. THAT takes courage...not parroting the received wisdom.

Hi JeffB.

Interesting comment....

******************
@satan

You may want to reconsider disrespecting the rules while riding through Ft. Meyer. As a military facility I assume that permitting cyclists to transit through is done as a courtesy.

If the base commander gets tired of cyclists flaunting their rules they may close the base.

Closing Ft Meyer to all cyclists would be a shame. It wouldn't kill you to wear a helmet for a half an hour would it?

Posted by: JeffB | January 30, 2011 at 05:33 PM

************************

Im not afraid of democracy. The base is not exactly high security nor is its location. If the Base Commander is irrational enough to impose a helmet rule in spite of ALL the available evidence, then relying on his insightful magnanimity to not close the base for any reason that strikes his whimsical fancy is assanine. THEY – the military – serve US, the American public. They are the implement of policy, not the creators of it. DON’T forget that...

By the way:

Im reasonably close to Transportation Alternatives over many years as well as Times Up!, and several sane transportation advocates organizations in San Fran.

These groups are not irresponsible. They dont incantate Satan or make threats. But they are also much more trenchant then bike advocates here in DC. Sometimes, they bring it; and put it the face of the offending stupidity.

DC region advocates could learn a thing or two from there example: they are waaaaay too meliorist and fawning than they should be.

Bikes arent going anywhere...and they are not capable of being reigned in by stupid legislation -- only annoyed by it. Bicycles are probably scary to the authorities because they truly represent a defensible anarchist social alternative: anarchism of the sort championed by Noam Chomnsky, David HArvey, Edward Said, Howard Zinn, Thomas Paine...

Bicycles by their very constitution and by virtue of the creation of the extant social spaces we have created in urban areas, not capable of the sort of reactionary regulation crafted for them. This fact should be celebrated -- and laughed about by those of us lucky enough top ride. See Zack Furnesses book on bikes and automobility for a full discussion of why the bicycle is unique among transportation alternatives in 2011...

re: Contador

Sigh. Oh washcycle. So rational on other matters; so deluded on the Contador question.

The guy's guilty as sin, and he should get the same treatment as Landis received. The idea that "Oh, it was just this one time!" is a bit like the way DC treats it's violent criminals: they might commit a hundred crimes, but because the chances of being caught are so slim, the one time the *are* caught, they're given a slap on the wrist because they're a "first-time offender."

Contador has a history of shady behavior (his involvement in Operation Puerto). I still remember the 2007 TDF when Rassmussen was in yellow. He was having an amazing day on a one-man break and only to be banned the next day. The announcers on Versus breathlessly announced, "Of course Rassmussen was doping! Only Contador could stay with him!" Please, let's be adults here.

The combination of the well-known PED clembuterol with the platsicizers in his blood are the smoking gun.

Bottom line is, the cycling establishment really, really, really does not want Contador to be banned or found guilty. He's the sport's future. UCI needs to decide if they're going to start imposing lifetime bans on this stuff, or do what American sports do, and effectively turn a blind eye to it.

@Satan,

If you support democracy, would you respect a decision by the democratically-elected lawmaking bodies (DC Council, etc.) that has a negative impact on cyclists? Perhaps a city-wide helmet law (for all ages) in DC or a ban on bikes in the central business district or removal of bike lanes/sharing/boxes/lights?

I probably would, because I believe in democracy. The problem, then, is that only a small percentage of residents in this area bike on a regular basis. It's all fine and good to shout at the rest of the world, but the rest of the world out-numbers us by 10-1 (rough guess, but you get the point), and there is a growing backlash against bikes. If you believe in democracy, unnecessarily poking the majority is a losing strategy.

I'm not saying that cyclists should fawn, but I do not see any value in being unnecessarily confrontational either. I think that cyclists should at least try to follow the laws (or at least not totally flaunt the laws in front of cars and pedestrians) and then try to change the laws that are assinine.

You may not believe in democracy or may not believe in the way that it is practiced in the United States. If that is the case, I think that you may reach different conclusions regarding the best path forward. Do not, however, believe that those who disagree with you are dumbasses.

Oboe: I agree re Contador. However, I can understand Pro Cycling's dilemma. If they ban him, and recind his medal, like Landis, and then possibly Armstrong then all the recent winners will have been guilty of doping. How can you follow a sport when all the winners are cheats? There is no excitement in watching a race, if the winner will not be decided then, but in several years, after forensic analysis and court battles.

satan, just because WABA advocates differently than others does not mean they do it wrong. Have these other advocates been more effective? San Francisco's bike plan languished in environmental review hell for years and NYC's bike lanes are under increasing attack by it's elected officials. Meanwhile a DC Councilmember is having a meeting this week to talk about making the streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians. So, you tell me, who's doing it right and who isn't?

oboe, if their position is that they're going light on Contador because he might be innocent, then that's what is dissatisfying. He either is innocent or guilty, but no one knows which (they claim) so he's getting a half punishment. I'm not yet convinced he's guilty by the way.

Washcycle: good point re satan and SF. I also question whether SF has been more successful. It has certainly been more "in your face."

Its also important to realize the differences in political cultures. DC is full of professional politicians, diplomats, lobbyists, lawyers, military etc. They are very smart, very powerful, and very determined, and manage to get their way without big showy protests. Lots happens behind the smiles and handshakes. If you go the "radical" route, you will be painted as a petulant child, and have already lost the battle.

If satan is arrested while biking through Ft. Meyer without a helmet after promising a guard that he will not do so, which tribunal will decide his fate?

@washcycle:

No, clenbuterol is a "zero threshold" drug. *Any* amount is illegal. There's no question that it was found in both Contador's A and B samples, so he's guilty, and his TDF victory is invalid--at least according to the rules.

The only question now is whether UCI and WADA are going to enforce their own rules or not.

This is an interesting treatment of the subject:

The UCI, for their part, once again failed to act in a manner that inspires confidence that they want the sport to be cleaned up. It transpired that Contador heard of his positive test on August 24, and it took a full month before any result was announced. Even then, it was announced by Contador's PR team only because the German media were about to break the story, and only then did the UCI announce anything. Contador was later quoted as saying that he was told to keep quiet about the test: "The UCI has always asked me not to tell this to anyone". He was further quoted as saying that "It seemed that everything was in order and that it would be resolved internally".

Given that previous cases of positive results have been announced before the B sample result was even known, this approach smacks of double standards. And I would love to know what "resolved internally" means. In theory, all cases should be resolved internally, in that both A and B samples should be tested, and then investigated, then sanctions announced if required. If not, no announcement would ever be made, and the athlete would not be subjected to false accusation.

http://www.sportsscientists.com/2010/12/mad-cow-award-uci-contador-and.html

oboe, I guess my thought is he's guilty of having clenbuterol in his blood, which is illegal. But this alone is not proof of doping. I seem to recall an Olympic athlete who missed the 2006 games due to a failed drug test, but it was pretty much accepted that he failed due to anti-balding drugs he took.

So guilty under the rules, but is he guilty of what the rules exist for?

I'm with washcycle. You can say "you cannot take X" but the only way to determine that is by a blood test. The test for X might actually be measuring Y, on the assumption of an X-Y relationship. Or what looks like X, might actually be Y. Or the lab might have contaminated the samples. There were apparently problems with the handling of samples for the TDF.

For example, a bunch of Irish guys were convicted of being terrorist bomb-makers in the 1970s based on nitrates on their fingers, but it later turned out that nitrocellulose was used as a thin film on a popular brand of playing cards, which was the source.

Or you can look at testosterone levels, but some people have higher levels than others. People usually get a boost in testosterone after winning, or if they are having a lot of sex. So, if you just won the TDF, I would expect you to have more testosterone than normal. How much is the question.

So catching its not just a matter of measuring, but of looking at other factors and applying judgement and experience...which is where the lawyers get involved.

harder once you get to lower and lower levels. And, of course, the athletes know what the labs are looking for. If you look at the Olympics, there are years when entire teams just don't compete because a new and better lab test has been designed, for which the team was not anticipating. The truth seems to be that many, if not most, athletes push the limits as far as possible. What is "cheating" can be a matter of interpretation.

hey todd:

define democracy...my guess is my definition is not yours...and given your words, it would seem you have in mind neitszche's definiton: "this mania for counting noses."

democracy is LEAST important as a political practice. do you understand that? and why? what if democracy is defined as an individual's shared responsibility for an environment?...

if you already anticipated my articulation of the relevant social background issues informing *any* account of democracy, I'll take back my dumb-ass comment...otherwise, you ought not f__k around with satan on matters over year pretty little head...


and Jim Titus:

loved your comment! but you might want to process just who I lied to: I lied to a CONTRACTED,private corporate Wackenhut guard at the gates -- not the US Military. See, even the dumb-asses in the Military are clueless of why outsourcing what should be PUBLIC concerns undermines the overall CULTURE of (authentic) democracy....

oh, but right...i forgot. no one really values democracy in the USA!...


wc,

According to the standing rules of WADA (and the UCI), yes, the presnece of clenbuterol in his blood is proof of doping. That's the definition of a "zero threshold" drug.

Now *outside* of WADA/UCI sanctions, in the court of public opinion--obviously we can conceive of reasons that an athlete's blood could test positive (i.e. Floyd drinking lots of alcohol, the Alain Baxter controversy, Contador's tainted beef, etc, etc...). But even there, at a certain point Occam's Razor has to prevail.

In light of Contador's previous involvement with Operation Puerto, and now the clenbuterol combined with IV plasticizers, the preponderance of evidence suggests that the penalties shouldn't be waived in Contador's case.

I think what's happening is that the UCI is--in the middle of the game--realizing that it's the crackdown on doping that's having such a corrosive effect on the legitimacy of the sport.

My assumption is that pretty much all of the top-level GC contenders for the grand tours are doping. They do it quite scientifically, using the latest technology and medical advice to stay below the detectable thresholds. But the problem is, technology keeps moving the goalposts. Contador only failed this test because the lab that did the testing was using a new process--one that was hundreds of times more sensitive than previously.

The UCI basically has to go back to the model they used under EPO: create a very public defined threshold for given substances, maybe ignore all but the most effective PEDs, and let the dopers play on an even playing field.

There was an American domestique whose name escapes me, who raced against the LA Postal Service squad in one of the early Lance TDF victories. There were allegations that Postal Service were engaging in systematic doping. His point was, of course they were doping. Postal Service was on the front for all 200+ kilometers of some HC mountaintop-finish stage, and with 5 km from the finish, with each squad having one or two men in the final group, Postal Service pretty much had their team intact.

Who knew Hincapie was one of the top climbers in the world!

@satan-

tee-hee.

@oboe-

Kind of off-point, but Hincapie's form really seems to have fallen off since he left Bruyneel's teams. It's almost as if Johan was giving him the something extra that he needed to be a total star...

Mike, stop being an ass. I've seen you with a helmet so like Justin Beiber says, never say never.

Attempting to draw a parallel between rates of african american incarceration and crackdown on cyclists running red lights is more of a stretch and more inappropriate than the jackass VC'ers claiming Reed Bates was equivalent to Rosa Parks. Such hyperbolic rants just look silly.

Neitszche? Chomsky? Compensating much? We get it, you're well edubacated. Chomsky also donates to Bikes Not Bombs who requires staff and program participants to wear helmets and follow the law. Shall we organize a black block march to shout him down at his next talk for it?

I see your bike on P St. all the time. Shoot me an email and I'll join you over there for coffee soon. It's been awhile.

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