Well no, not really. Just a startling and unhappy realization. For many years, I've been telling my wife that the bicycle racing community is a first class group, without exception. I've been telling her that all of us are mature, intelligent, dedicated, strong, disciplined... all of the good things that one would willingly expose his family to.. I've been telling her never to worry about who we encounter at Wells or Lincoln or Ninigret, that she can follow our 3 year old son Reis as he wanders person to person and says "Hi" to total strangers, without worry or fear, because they're all great people. I've been telling her never to lock the door when we're at a race, in case I need to grab something last minute before start, because bike racers do not steal. I've been telling her that "these are the people I want to associate with, there are none better".. I've been proven wrong. What lies I've been telling.. what many words I must now eat.. Regrettably, my dear wife reads this blog, and it's comments.. Do the math. I'm thankful my son can't read yet because if he could read, he'd be afraid to come to another bike race with his dad. So to all of the basement people out there, whoever you are, and whatever your results list or ranking looks like.. my startling realization is that it's time for me to stop pre-judging all bike racers, even the very "best" ones, as though they are all saints, completely free of bad habits or language or thinking.. How pathetically naive of me. More than anything else which has transpired in the past few days, this realization bothers me the most.. Our so-called tight knit New England "family" seems to have some serious identity problems.. kind of like Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, something I spoke about as an invited guest on NPR's OpenSource last fall. Everything's fine and dandy until you are openly critical, until you expose weakness, until you denigrate the status quo. Such fascism is something which the Turkish Republic is strongly criticised for. If you know a little something about Orhan Pamuk's recent fame and fortune, you will know what I mean. If you decide that you disagree so stongly that it's necessary for you to begin throwing your own feces around like a red assed chimpanzee, go for it. You will only be perpetuating the ideas which I've set forth. Better to prove me wrong so that we can share some relief.
I've recently had my name dragged through the mud, and my reputation knocked around like a red headed step child. Link. This is in spite of my best efforts to become a unifying factor by recording and sharing race video footage which people would otherwise have no chance of ever seeing..The above was originally posted at Bisikletci. I must say, that in two years of blogging here at Amerikan Turk, even with all of the hot-button issues and controversy and differences of opinion, the commenters who contribute here have NEVER been vile and disgusting as in the situation over at my other blog.