By Pico Triano
Photos: Pixabay, Shawn Whitelaw
Doping tied to professional cycling has been run through the press so much in recent years, we're all sick and tired of it. It was an issue long before the Lance Armstrong era, although some seem to think it wasn't. Riders were doping back when Greg Lemond won his first tour and before. The fact that people exist who are willing to cheat predates sport. To be perfectly honest there are probably riders who are still doing it in spite of the heightened stigma. The problem is NOT unique to cycling. Sadly somehow all this has poisoned some people's view of cyclists in general. I ride a bicycle therefore I must somehow have been a doper/cheater. That view is ridiculous.
I love riding my bike because it has always given me a sense of freedom, because I can get where I need to go. It is good for my health and keeps me in exceptional physical condition for my age. I enjoy the time spent with family when I'm riding with my wife and children. It also saves me money on gasoline. Where pray tell does performance enhancing drugs fit into that? Let's look at some potential “benefits”.
I could go faster. My answer to that is, so what? I'm a Clydesdale and a slow rider at that. I've been passed on my bicycle by someone's grandmother. I've accepted this. I don't think doping would make me competitive against any kind of legitimate race competition. It isn't that I have no inclination toward competition. I'm quite proud of the shear mileage I manage and the conditions under which I manage it. I just don't really care who does it better. I just don't have the physical build or talent to be a great bicycle racer. For those that do, in my prime, I likely could have made you look bad on the basketball court.
I could have a more sculpted physique. We'll, I'm not a professional athlete. I don't have time to try and look like one. I still weigh the same as I did in my college basketball playing days and I'm over fifty. I can still do most of the things I enjoy with exception of playing competitive basketball at any level but that is a back issue that no drug is going to fix. In that regard I think I'm doing all right. I doubt I would gain anything on the physical attractiveness scale either. I was born with this face. Besides my brother-in-law is a two time Quebec body building champion. One thing my wife never wanted in a partner - was a body builder. Incidentally I out weigh him by thirty pounds.
I honestly can't think of any other potential benefit for a regular person.