I caught a lot of heat for yesterday’s post imploring Atlanta police to ticket cyclists for traffic infractions, the general thrust of said heat being that I am a nerd, a teacher’s pet, and a hall monitor. When I say “caught a lot of heat” I mean, of course, that there were like two snarky tweets about it.
Mind you, even a single tweet can have lasting emotional impact for which the tweeter can be forced to apologize. Just ask Johan Bruyneel, who has issued apologies for the following brain-melting insults directed toward Tour de France officials:
“Ok people! Now it’s official! To be a race commissar you don’t need brains but only know the rules! Their motto: ‘c’est le reglement!’”
That might not seem like much of an insult, until you translate the last phrase, which is in French, a language spoken in France, Canada, and any Starbucks in which an American college student wishes to appear cultured. “Reglement” is a slang word for a goat’s scrotum (goat scrot for short). Suffice it to say that the UCI officials were not amused, and Bruyneel has posted what is I’m sure a heartfelt apology.
Even so, the UCI, whose members can be fired for smiling, are pursuing disciplinary action against Team Radioshack for wearing black cycling kits on the podium to raise awareness for Lance’s anti-cancer foundation, Livestrong.
You might be saying to yourself “Wait a minute, self. If the UCI fines Team Radioshack and Team Radioshack is raising money and awareness to fight cancer via Livestrong, doesn’t that mean that the UCI is pro cancer?”
You might also be saying “Wait a minute, self. If Lance and Radioshack want to raise money to fight cancer, why are they spending so much on racing bicycles? Couldn’t they just raise all that money and then give it straight to the research foundations?” I don’t know the answer to that question, though, so forget I brought it up.
What is important is that the UCI’s “reglement” is stuck in a bit of a vise here. Clearly they are hell bent on punishing Team Radioshack, for whatever reason, but they can’t appear to be even slightly pro cancer — even though the idea of anyone being pro cancer is ridiculous. So, they’ve stated that any fines levied against Team Radioshack will go to their own competing cancer charity, the Swiss Cancer league.
Ha HA! Take that, Lance! Their cancer charity is way better than yours!
Unlike Johan, however, in the case of my opinion that greater policing of cyclists would ultimately be good for the health of the cycling community, I cannot back down. Swerving across lanes, running lights, and generally behaving lawlessly isn’t helping anyone.
If we want a more bike friendly city, we should start by being a friendlier city of cyclists, and if we want to raise money for cancer, well, I guess we’d best not piss the UCI off. Who knows what they’ll do?