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one person's thoughts on doping
I enjoy following cycling and will continue to do so. Doping has always been a part of the sport and I don't think it can ever be fully eliminated. I don't think there is a cycling fan out there that can say with any degree of certainty that the riders they like are 100% clean.
Doping or not this stuff is impressive to watch, but the more news that comes out the less human these feats seem. I'm not sure if it's a reasonable expectation or not anymore but I think most of us tune in for more than a freakshow, crash highlights, and endless Saab commercials.
I can remember being a kid and getting on my bike after watching the race and thinking "Maybe I could do that someday", and up until a few years ago I would still get inspired in that way (even if I realized I was already too old and timid to race). I think a lot of fans have turned the corner from having these feelings, and really once that dries up the market for racerboy/girl bikes and gear dries up with it.
If the current trends keeps up I will probably spend a lot less time watching the full TDF coverage (and accompanying ads), skip to the highlights, and go ride my ****ing bike.
I used to feel bad about struggling with the local big hill after watching the Tour guys go up those long mountains. I thought if they can do that surely I can make it up this hill easier. But now I know that they CAN'T actually go up those mountains day after day. It's all chemicals, blood, and pharmacies. So, I feel a little better. So, I will watch the freak show because I know it's not real, and I will feel better about myself because I ride without drugs.