To the Everyman

Posted by on Jul 28, 2006 in Bike | No Comments

“Who can we cheer with any kind of certainty? What too-good-to-be-true story is legit? Where does hopeful belief end and rampant cynicism begin?”

-Pat Forde,

I will tell you where. Too often, and for too long we have looked at our professional athletes as our source for inspiration, and heroism. Far too long we have tolerated their drug habits, their wife beatings, their entourages and posses, Hummer 2’s and “me first” attitudes.

No more.

The professional athlete has become a whining, spoiled, crying, “everyone owes me something”, baby.

Today I want to salute the everyman. The you’s and me’s of the world. People who get up early and go to work, spend the day doing someone else’s bidding, daydreaming of the wind in their faces, and a thin layer of dust rising behind them as they speed through singletrack snaking its way through thick forests, and over tall mountains. People who train as compulsively as any pro, but do it on their own time and dime, men and women who are parents, professionals, PTA board members, church leaders, quality citizens and all the while still find the time to put down a sub 9 off-road hundie, a solo 24, or a team relay in Park City.

Maybe along the way they will win an age group national championship, a local series points title, or just have that magical day when they sneak on to the podium because their usual competition didn’t show up. These are people who will scrutinize data from a mid-pack finish, skip desert, and get patient smiles from their wives when the family vacation is planned around a 12 Hour race 3 states away. These are folks who have co-workers who don’t understand the shaved legs, 50 resting heart beat, the terribly defined tan lines and why for “heaven’s sake you are taking the stairs”.

The everyman is the heart of our sport. He is the guy saving up for a bike that comes, not from a sponsor, but from the kid down at the local bike shop. He is the guy who rides and competes because he loves riding and competing. I have no doubt that the pros still love what they do. Down to earth guys like Nick Martin are proof of that. But for to many, in every sport, the pure joy of it all melts away. It gets clouded in contracts, phat gold jewelry and “doing whatever it takes”.

Yeah. Whatever it takes. Especially cheating.

I hope Floyd is clean. For his sake, and the sake of the sport. But I would be naive to think that he is outside the realm of performance enhancing drugs. How is he different from Tyler Hamilton? He is not. They are the exact same person. Tyler was the next king. We cheered him on as he broke away with a broken collar bone, winning a dramatic Tour stage while silently weeping for his dying dog. Then the roof came down, and my ideals became sullied.

When does the house that Lance built come crashing down? I hope never. But look how many riders that were his teammates have been suspended. I am choosing to remain naive enough to think and believe he is, and always has been clean.

Are all amateurs clean? No way. But most are. And today I salute all those riders who put in the time and effort just because they choose to. Maybe I am sentimental. Maybe this pseudo-rant is romantic. But with every new hero that falls, or is torn down by positive tests, allegations, or [insert whatever you can think of that ruins careers], I can’t help but turn toward my fellow competitors and realize that right in front of me is all the inspiration I need to be a satisfied sports fan.


  1. allan
    July 29, 2006

    Great post Adam. I also wantd to ask you a question if you don’t mind. I plan on doing the E100 solo 12HR race next yr and wondered how far in advance I need to make reservations for that time of year. Thanks for any help. If it’s to much to post in here then feel free to mail me at

  2. Dave Harris
    July 29, 2006

    Wow brutha.

    Goose bumps all over.

  3. Travis Swicegood
    July 29, 2006

    Nicely put, Adam. Nicely put.

  4. slyfox
    July 30, 2006

    i think you will win an award for that post

  5. Jason
    July 30, 2006

    Great post. This need to be sent to a national mag, STAT!

    My personal fear. The start testing athletes such as myself for beer. It would suck for me to be stripped of a 10th place finish for having a 4 to 1 increased hops level in my blood 🙂

    Again, great post.


  6. Luis
    July 31, 2006

    Amen, brother!

  7. Anonymous
    August 1, 2006

    Hey Adam –

    Dave H and Chris F both sent me here via their blogs, now I know why. Nicely written, thanks!

    Ed E

  8. Anonymous
    August 1, 2006

    Post of the year.

  9. weak and feeble
    August 3, 2006

    Kudos for bringing us back to the truth and reminding us that WE are the sport.

Sign up for email updates and get STOKED!

A FREE manifesto for subscribers.