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Daily Archives: November 3, 2015

Power Line: Extra Bacon on My Hot Dog, Please!

Power Line: Extra Bacon on My Hot Dog, Please!

For a sober view of exactly what went into the numbers that went into the reporting hype about red and processed meats making the headlines last week, including the one-liner about red meat being compared to smoking, another of those “it takes an intellectual to say something so stupid” lines, unless smoking isn’t as bad as has been reported, take a look at the link above.

Pay particular note of the occurrence of colorectal cancer (it’s plummeted, not risen over the last five decades or so) and the laughable math they went through over in the UK to show how many more people could expect to get butt-cancer because they eat red meat…  10 per 1000 more when compared to those who eat the least meat.  That’s it.  Ten per thousand.  Let me put this mildly; as fit as I am, I’ll take my chances, now pass the lunch meat and mayo (and you’d better put that Miracle Whip back in the fridge where it belongs, gimme the real stuff!).

If you want to be more well-informed than your typical hypester, I can’t recommend Power Line highly enough.  They do the math, rather than rely on a newspaper as Gospel (or the Lancet as the case is…  Check out the post to find out another nonsensical item they published but had to back away from – it’s a big one).

In the mean time, I’ll have some extra bacon on my hotdog and hamburger…  What backyard cookout is complete without all three?  None to my knowledge and experience.

Oh, and while we’re at it, may as well throw in a bottle of Coke or two*… (The key is to read the fine print: The scientists don’t actually know of it’s the pop or the lifestyle that leads to problems. My guess is the latter.

*I stopped regularly drinking soda (aka pop, soda pop, “fizzy drinks” or sugary beverages) long ago. I still partake from time to time because nothing puts a smile on my mug like an ice-cold Coca-Cola 80 miles into a century. Nothing. I stopped because I didn’t like the idea of having to work that many “stupid calories” off.

Why do amateur athletes dope?

This post was written shortly after two, one male and one female, of the top three (men and women) finishers at the New York Gran Fondo were busted for doping

Being an amateur athlete has its challenges, but when does the stress of not being fast enough finally get the best of one?

That’s really the question.

I’ve thought about doping myself, and this is why…

I ride, as I’ve made abundantly clear in the past, with some very fast folks. I’ve been trying for three or four years now to finish with the lead group. I’m just not strong enough and my aerobic capacity is not great enough that I can make it beyond the 20 mile mark of the 33 mile ride.

Partly I have myself to blame. I won’t not do my share of the work. I won’t hide except in specific situations (I did once on a century with the same group and made it 80 miles at near a 23 mph average pace on open roads – the 33 mile lead group usually finishes between 23 & 24).

However, if I had a little help, call it an easy ten percent boost, I could hang with the big dogs. No, money wouldn’t fall from the heavens and the pats on the back would subside after the second time in a row I stuck with the lead group, but I would be in an elite group of cyclists. I would be riding with the fastest of the fast. Masters champions, a national triathlon champion and categorizes racers… Rare air for a businessman with a family and too many responsibilities and a lack of “want to” to train like those who make my lungs burn on a weekly basis.

This is how it starts.

Little to no thoughts of consequences, after all, who would know? It’s just the Tuesday night club ride…

Fortunately I have a cooler head about such things so I haven’t bothered beyond the odd thought, “Wouldn’t it be neat if…” Unlike some, I have the ability to think beyond silly desires to the consequences tied to such actions, and getting busted by a doping board at a Gran Fondo is not what I’m talking about.

All too often I see knee-jerk reactions claiming evil intentions or a need to be better than others at any cost as the culprit that leads to artificial means of performance enhancement.  I don’t claim to know anything beyond my own experience but I will say this:  I’ve been tempted to go that route to just keep up with the local club guys.  I can’t imagine how tempting it would be if there were actually something riding on it.  This isn’t, of course, an excuse for anyone, including pros. Cheating is cheating, even if everyone is doing it.

It is more to say, however, “Meh, I get it”.

To wrap this post up, if not for my friends, Matt our local shop owner, Mike, Chuck, Phill, Brad, Big Joe, Carla, Allen, Adam and Diane, Mike and Diane, Ron, and especially now, my wife, I don’t know if I’d have found happiness in just being me… If not for them, maybe the temptation to ride with the A crowd would have been too great. I’ll never know now, because all the dope in the world can’t make what I’ve got better.

While I do find doping repugnant, I can certainly understand the desire to fit in.  For those people, I simply feel sorry for them.  It’s as though they’re sick – there’s something wrong in the head that they listen to that says, “I have to be better, faster, stronger than what I’m capable of under normal circumstances”…

But for the grace of God, there go I…

As a PS, if you click on the link above, I actually very much agree with GFNY’s policy of allowing those who have tested positive for banned substances to ride in the event after they’ve served their suspension (WADA’s is Two Years) but they’re banned for life from competing in the event.  They have to start at the back of the field and their times won’t be recorded.  This lets them ride and be a part of the “society”, but definitely punishes them harshly for their past misdeeds.  My hat is off to them.