1. Home » Mailbag » The mailbag – Readers sound off

The mailbag – Readers sound off

That is not your ordinary hitchhiker, Mr. Horner.

That is not your ordinary hitchhiker, Mr. Horner.

Photo: Heidi Swift

The Mailbag is a regular department on VeloNews.com. Write to webletters@insideinc.com. Please include your full name, hometown and state or nation. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. Writers are encouraged to limit their submissions to one letter per month. The letters published should not be viewed as reflecting the opinions, policies or positions of VeloNews.com, VeloNews magazine or our parent company.

Horner’s passenger
Dear VeloNews.com
I just wanted to let you know that Chris Horner didn’t just help some hapless rider, Billy Demong, in giving him a ride when he crashed and taco-ed his wheel at the Cascade Classic.

Bill is one of America’s most celebrated cross country skiers, a three-time Olympian, third overall in this past season’s Nordic Combined World Cup, a silver medalist in last year’s Nordic Combined World Championships! His talent has allowed him to upgrade from Category III rider last year to a Category I this year. I’d venture to say that he is as celebrated an athlete as anyone at the Cascade Classic, including Levi Leipheimer. Like Leipheimer, Demong is a huge star in Europe.

Thought you should know.
Chris Humbert
Bend, Oregon

Just the facts, please
Dear Velo,
Guys, seriously, don’t turn into US Weekly and play the tabloid role of making assumptions given no real credible info. In “Mr. Rogers’ Tour – Riccò rides right into questions,” Rogers makes allusions to Riccò being a doper in several ways without any real information to make his case, other than the fact the guy likes Pantani and has a hemo’ certificate. I don’t even like Riccò, but I expect you guys to take a more informed stance on “news” and not make assumptions of guilt until given reason to do so.

Neal’s story plays to the same bad tactics being leveled in this “war on doping” that only paint a picture of the sport that will make any mother or father think twice about letting their child dream of a cycling career of any sort. Its damaging the sport roughshod in route to a higher goal. I am a lifelong cyclist and have been a Cat 1 since 1993 and even held a USPRO license, so I have some skin in this game.

I hate to see it dismantled so easily.

Thanks for allowing me to rant,
Mike Gann
Richmond Virginia

What goes around comes around
Editors,
I am slightly ashamed to admit that I actually smiled when I saw Schumacher fall on the climb to Super Besse. It wasn’t that long ago that he took out George Hincapie at the Benelux Tour in 2006 to take the overall victory there. It was just that much more sweet that Kim Kirchen not only supposedly caused the crash, but then got the jersey. Coincidence?

I remember him not being particularly gracious after that incident, even though I doubt he did it on purpose.

Chalk one up for karma, eh?
Kevin O’Riordan
Washington, D.C.

It’s all about the leaks
Dear Editor,
I am perplexed by the reaction to Beltran’s situation. Stapleton, Vaughters, et. al. have said this is an example of the system working. Perhaps. However, a person can also say that this is an example of the system not working.

Once again, an A sample being positive has been leaked to Le Equipe, a “known” outlet of confidential information of a WADA lab. Can a system in which one is “guilty until proven innocent” truly be called fair? All doping tests have a certain level of false positive (however low they may be). That’s why a B sample is reserved for additional testing. Why can’t an athlete be deemed innocent until the B sample result is confirmed? It’s a completely one-sided system in which the accusers have absolutely nothing to lose by being sloppy and incompetent, but the falsely accused is destroyed in the process.

I don’t know if Beltran is truly a doper or not. But the way this affair is being handled doesn’t raise my level of confidence in the anti-doping establishment.
Best regards,
Ken G. Kabira
Naperville, Illinois

Anger management, via the courts
Dear VeloNews,
Thank for the story on the angry driver charged with four felony counts. It’s nice to see people are having to own up to road rage.

Just today I was out on a ride and some guy passed an oncoming vehicle on a double yellow line. He was coming at me at well over 60mph, while I was going downhill and had a crosswind pushing me into his path. He probably came within five feet of me.

Related articles:

Oct. 30, 2009: Closing arguments
Oct. 28, 2009: Dr. Thompson takes the stand
Oct. 26, 2009: Prosecution rests
Oct. 22, 2009: ‘I wanted to teach them a lesson’
Oct. 20, 2009: Defense suggests cyclists were looking for a fight
Oct. 19, 2009: Road-rage trial begins
Oct. 12, 2009: California road-rage case heads for court
Dec. 24, 2008: Mionske: Mandeville incident inspires Cyclists Bill of Rights
Aug. 15, 2008: Mionske: Bikes v. cars
Aug. 8, 2008: Mionske: Where’s the justice?
July 14, 2008: Mailbag: Readers sound off
July 13, 2008: Doctor charged
July 10, 2008: LA incident rallies cyclists

It seems I see it more frequently now; urgency in someone’s life that overrides safety and well being.
Catherine Dudley
Massachusetts

Sources of rage?
Dear Velo,
Regarding local road rage in L.A. There is a lot of talk in the bike community about the incident in Brentwood the other day.

I rode Mandeville yesterday and there was an unusual calm on the street, with everyone — including automobile drivers — being extra careful.

As much as I am a cyclist and want to defend all of us, I must admit that there are a fair amount of cyclists out there that are not courteous. As much as this incident is totally uncalled for, we cyclists must remember we are sharing the road. We (cars and cycles) are all equally entitled to the road and neither is more entitled. We must learn to share. I have been riding in L.A. for 30 years and over the last five years, there has been a huge increase in the number of cyclists. I have feared, for the last couple years, we have been reaching a tipping point.

Let’s see what happens going forward
Howard Blitz
Los Angeles, California

The Mailbag is a regular department on VeloNews.com. Write to webletters@insideinc.com. Please include your full name, hometown and state or nation. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. Writers are encouraged to limit their submissions to one letter per month. The letters published should not be viewed as reflecting the opinions, policies or positions of VeloNews.com, VeloNews magazine or our parent company.

Related Articles