A short documentary film about my grandfather and his passion for cycling. I made this as a gift for his 80th birthday (or his ‘4th 20th birthday’, as he likes to say).
Filming and editing : Florent Piovesan
Titles : Ams
Cliff Martinez - He Had A Good Time
Cliff Martinez - I Drive
Mike Patton - Snow Angel
Experiments in speed. Inspired by those great men of the salt flats, those men that in the 60s pushed the Land Speed Record from the 300s up towards the 600mph mark in jet-propelled cars built in their sheds. We decided to do what we do: build a bicycle, but this time, in the spirit of those pioneers of speed, build it to see how fast we could go…
Director | Greg Hackett
Editor | Tim Swaby
Production Company | Spindle Productions
Sound Recordist | Adam Williams
Camera Assistant | Greg Harris
Production Assistant | Dickon Ireland
Aerial Cameras | Ben Kenobe Ben Sturgess Chris Ridley
Photographer | Tristan Conor Holden
Composer | Daniel J. Harvey
The media are still pretending that the west coast is 3 hours behind the east coast. Shhh. We’re not supposed to know this yet…
Yep, Lance was a doper. Which I could actually forgive (even though the seeking-Oprah’s-benediction thing is totally transparent), because the fact is the whole sport does it.
But Armstrong went out of his way to smear and try to destroy people who told the truth about him, and even won several large court judgments that we now know were obtained through fraud.
Some of those people are now suing him to get those judgments back. Floyd Landis has filed a federal whistle-blower suit against Armstrong for defrauding the US Post Office. His life has become … complex.
He’ll still come out of this with a lot of money, but nobody will ever forget the things he did to try to protect his kingdom of lies.
It’s also still a fact that he was an amazing cyclist, drugs or not. In a sport where — let’s face it — all the top athletes were doing everything they could to get a slight edge, Lance had much, much more than an edge.
On his best days, he dominated the field in a way very few cyclists ever have; the epic battles with Marco Pantani and Jan Ullrich, the time trials where he absolutely blew away the competition, the insane climbs in the Alps when he would get up on the pedals and dance, and just rocket away from the lead group like a cycling god.
But athletic talent and human decency don’t always correlate, and Lance Armstrong may be the prime example.
I can’t help wondering, though, if Sheryl Crow knew he was hitting the EPO.
I just bought the Kindle version of Tyler Hamilton’s book, and I’m sort of dreading it. A cyclist friend tells me it totally settles the issue of whether Armstrong was doping during his TdF wins, and not in Lance’s favor. This would not surprise me, but I have to admit I still had a tiny flame of hope that Armstrong really was a clean rider. And I’ll mourn the day that tiny flame is extinguished.
Good thing the same anti-doping standards were never applied to musicians. Jazz and rock would be nonexistent.
Lance Armstrong dropped his fight against doping charges tonight:
Lance Armstrong called it quits late Thursday in his battle to end an investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, a move that will most likely mean a lifetime ban for the seven-time Tour de France champion.
And an AP breaking news alert :
Breaking (10:45PM EDT): USADA to strip Lance Armstrong of 7 Tour de France titles, ban him from cycling for life.
AUSTIN, Texas - August 23rd, 2012 - There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, “Enough is enough.” For me, that time is now. I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart’s unconstitutional witch hunt. The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today – finished with this nonsense.
I had hoped that a federal court would stop USADA’s charade. Although the court was sympathetic to my concerns and recognized the many improprieties and deficiencies in USADA’s motives, its conduct, and its process, the court ultimately decided that it could not intervene.
If I thought for one moment that by participating in USADA’s process, I could confront these allegations in a fair setting and – once and for all – put these charges to rest, I would jump at the chance. But I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair. Regardless of what Travis Tygart says, there is zero physical evidence to support his outlandish and heinous claims. The only physical evidence here is the hundreds of controls I have passed with flying colors. I made myself available around the clock and around the world. In-competition. Out of competition. Blood. Urine. Whatever they asked for I provided. What is the point of all this testing if, in the end, USADA will not stand by it?
From the beginning, however, this investigation has not been about learning the truth or cleaning up cycling, but about punishing me at all costs. I am a retired cyclist, yet USADA has lodged charges over 17 years old despite its own 8-year limitation. As respected organizations such as UCI and USA Cycling have made clear, USADA lacks jurisdiction even to bring these charges. The international bodies governing cycling have ordered USADA to stop, have given notice that no one should participate in USADA’s improper proceedings, and have made it clear the pronouncements by USADA that it has banned people for life or stripped them of their accomplishments are made without authority. And as many others, including USADA’s own arbitrators, have found, there is nothing even remotely fair about its process. USADA has broken the law, turned its back on its own rules, and stiff-armed those who have tried to persuade USADA to honor its obligations. At every turn, USADA has played the role of a bully, threatening everyone in its way and challenging the good faith of anyone who questions its motives or its methods, all at U.S. taxpayers’ expense. For the last two months, USADA has endlessly repeated the mantra that there should be a single set of rules, applicable to all, but they have arrogantly refused to practice what they preach. On top of all that, USADA has allegedly made deals with other riders that circumvent their own rules as long as they said I cheated. Many of those riders continue to race today.
The bottom line is I played by the rules that were put in place by the UCI, WADA and USADA when I raced. The idea that athletes can be convicted today without positive A and B samples, under the same rules and procedures that apply to athletes with positive tests, perverts the system and creates a process where any begrudged ex-teammate can open a USADA case out of spite or for personal gain or a cheating cyclist can cut a sweetheart deal for themselves. It’s an unfair approach, applied selectively, in opposition to all the rules. It’s just not right.
USADA cannot assert control of a professional international sport and attempt to strip my seven Tour de France titles. I know who won those seven Tours, my teammates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours. We all raced together. For three weeks over the same roads, the same mountains, and against all the weather and elements that we had to confront. There were no shortcuts, there was no special treatment. The same courses, the same rules. The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that. Especially not Travis Tygart.
Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances. I will commit myself to the work I began before ever winning a single Tour de France title: serving people and families affected by cancer, especially those in underserved communities. This October, my Foundation will celebrate 15 years of service to cancer survivors and the milestone of raising nearly $500 million. We have a lot of work to do and I’m looking forward to an end to this pointless distraction. I have a responsibility to all those who have stepped forward to devote their time and energy to the cancer cause. I will not stop fighting for that mission. Going forward, I am going to devote myself to raising my five beautiful (and energetic) kids, fighting cancer, and attempting to be the fittest 40-year old on the planet.
A terrible thing happened recently to Daily Caller writer Mark Judge: someone stole his bicycle. The bike was a source of great joy and inspiration for Mark, so you can imagine how totally devastated he must have been.
But as many negative experiences do, this terrible theft had its bright side: it freed Mark from the chains of white guilt and allowed him to embrace his inner racist.
Even though he doesn’t know who actually stole his bike.
I bought a bike, and it quickly became a source of joy — and efficiency. D.C. is a car-heavy city, and the bike made getting around it a breeze. I could park on Capitol Hill, coast down Independence Avenue and take in the museums and cherry blossoms in a couple hours. The bike was a sign of strength, of determination. Of recovery. When a friend of mine, a social worker, expressed surprise that the entire time of my treatment I had never gone on disability, I couldn’t believe she would even think that I would do such a thing. One magical early spring night I rode through about half the city, going to rock clubs, coffee shops and museums, ending up on the lit hilltop at Georgetown University. Disability? Wrong answer.
But when I came back to my car after the stations, my bike, which had been locked to a bike rack on my car, was gone. I called the cops and filed a report. Then I walked around Brookland, the neighborhood around the Shrine, for an hour to see if I could spot it. I didn’t, but I did talk to some people who said there were a lot of kids around that day because the schools are out.
I went to college at Catholic University, which is right next to the National Shrine, and I know Brookland pretty well. It’s home to several Catholic religious orders (Brookland was once known as “Little Rome”). I could be pretty certain that on Good Friday a member of the Little Sisters of the Poor, which is across the street from where I was parked, had not nicked my bike. Neither had the monks at the Dominican House of Studies on the corner. The students at Catholic University were on Easter break. That left the neighborhoods around the university. Since the time I was an undergrad at Catholic University in the 1980s, most of the crime that has occurred on campus has come from those neighborhoods, which are predominately black. As sure as it took the D.C. cops forever to get to the parking lot to file a report, I knew that the odds were very high that a black person had taken my bike — maybe one of the kids that had been described.
This inexorable line of reasoning caused an epiphany for Mark Judge:
In that moment, I had a change of consciousness. Why was I assuming that the kid who stole my bike was acting out of some terrible pain, as if he had been directly under the lash of Bull Connor? What if he has a car, a nice apartment, a hot girlfriend and good health?
What if he is just a selfish asshole?
I think you mean, “selfish black asshole,” don’t you, Mark?
Yikes. What can you even say when an article like this shows up at a popular mainstream conservative website?
Today’s insanity break is a video clip of some truly exceptional fixed-gear bicycle gymnastics, from somewhere in der Nederlands, via wrenchwench.