Category: guest writers

‘i blog, therefore i am’? Kate Smart on the function & role of the ‘outsider’ voice in the media, featuring

Kate Smart was a contributor to The Roar‘s cycling section when I was its editor. She has just recently begun a new ‘blog’ (yes, not a term I am fond of), Sports Media Theory and crankpunk features heavily in her very first post.

The idea behind the site was to apply media theory to sports media specifically. In her own words she says:

“The original idea behind the blog was to think about media theory and how it can be applied to sports media and that is very much what I want to do, but as I worked through this project I realised that perhaps I should have given the site a much more general title such as “Sports Communications”, as this is at the heart of what interests me.

“The act of communication is undergoing vast change and sports communication is no different, yet it still seems to be dismissed as not being terribly serious or worthy of powering at a deeper level.”

Interesting stuff. Check out her first article here. Below follows a snippet:

Crankpunk is a reminder that sport blogs also serve an important function in seeking transparency in sports journalism.

As Rodgers notes, “Maybe when Armstrong was around, when he first started becoming really successful, maybe if the blogging sphere had of been stronger or if there were more independent people who had better access to cycling fans and had this space which we have now started to generate, maybe Armstrong wouldn’t have been able to get away with as much as he did.”

There is no way of knowing if what is widely called, “the biggest fraud in the history of sport” would have been limited by a larger blogosphere, but it’s an interesting point to think about.

“Maybe he would have had to answer questions and the groundswell of public opinion may not have been on his side”, says Rodgers.

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Xenton Prio Road Bike Review, by Farsell Burst

Tired of reading fawning, sycophantic bike reviews that seem to have been written more in fear of losing advertising revenue than anything else? Fear not! Mr. Burst tells it like it IS…

The Xention Prio, by Farsell Burst

First of all let me say that this is THE GREATEST road racing bike of all time. It’s so great in fact that it is JUST AS GREAT as all the other bikes I’ve ever reviewed, but it is NO GREATER than the one I’m gonna review next month, because it is in fact JUST AS GREAT as that one too.

This cutting edge piece of carbon has been made much like all the other frames out there and rides much like much of all the other frames out there and is really good.

It has wheels and they are quite round, a major technological advancement, I’m sure you would agree. And the whole thing is stiff and compliant and generally – except for a few sneaky moments – complies with the laws of physics.

Gravity? This bike agrees with gravity, you can be sure about that. Thank the Xenton engineers and their patented ‘Gravity-Compliant Bi-lateral Parallel Seat Stay Thing’ for that one. This isn’t just marketing jizz because there’s a sticker on the bike that says it, so it is absolutely real.

I really like the painjob too. It looks like paint and it adheres very well to the frame. The decals are top-notch and flush to the carbon, which BLEW ME AWAY. I tried to peel them off but I couldn’t, because – get this, you aero freaks out there – they are under the paint.

How do they do it? Who knows!

On downhills the bike goes down, and on uphills it goes up. I tried to make it go sideways but it wouldn’t, which some may find limiting in a road bike costing $18,000, but I found that most agreeable, and I am not easily pleased.

I was pleased with the rubber on the tires too, because it was black and rubbery. That pleased me a lot.

The  bike comes with ‘bar tape’ which also BLEW ME AWAY because it was actually tape and it was on the bars. Some very clever name-thinking-up went on at Xenton before they rolled this puppy out.

At the end of the week, I just didn’t want to give it back.

In any case I actually couldn’t, because I came all over it.

It is that sexy.

So all in all, this bike is THE GREATEST BIKE EVER.

Just like every other bike I’ve ever reviewed.

But it isn’t without it’s faults. Because generally it’s a piece of crap. Because, erm, – well… I though the seatpost was a little too straight…maybe? But hey, who am I to grumble.

After all, I do get paid to write generic waffle that no one in their right mind could possible ever mistake for a real review.

Til next time chumps buddies!

Farsell Burst

Marketing Manager at Felt, Cannondale, Colnago, Scott, Trek et cetera et cetera and on and on and on…

The Xenton Prio. It's a crap bike.

The Xenton Prio. It’s a crap bike.

Betsy hits the front page of the Telegraph

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when i asked Betsy Andreu to contribute to the crankpunk website, she being something of a hero of mine and all, i never thought she’d actually say yes being as she is so busy with her own thing and is busy still, unfortunately, taking time out of her life to educate people about the dangers of doping, the dangers of letting Lance back in, and of forgetting the past – which ain’t really so past at all…

but she did, and her first piece from yesterday made it on to the front page of the British broadsheet, the Daily Telegraph, into which their writer inserted a nice little hyperlink to

i think that is what you might call hitting it right out of the park, though even that seems like a terrible understatement.

but this is what we are trying to do here, asides from writing about our love for this wonderful sport. circumstances demand that we keep pushing, keep plugging away and to make sure we do our very best to take advantage of this point we’ve come to in professional cycling, where the issue of doping is more out in the open than ever before.

now is not the time to say ‘ok we’re done, let’s move on.’ that would be a travesty, because we are not done, they are not done.

they are still very much alive and kicking.

it’s up to us to decide whether the wounded beast that is doping gets to continue to live in the shadows and regain its vitality, or to finally be chained in the light, where we can keep an eye on it and truly monitor its pulse.

then, perhaps, just maybe, the great writers here on crankpunk could then get back to writing about the sport they love and not the drugs and the men that are killing it.

over and out,


nutrition: jam & water vs. brand energy drink

by James Machin

I’ve been experimenting with different fuels on my ride and after looking at gels, powders and mixes I thought ‘hang on a bloody minute! Most of these drink supplements are boasting 2:1 fructose mixes or other “Fruit” sugar mixes, what would happen if I just mixed jam with 750ml of water?’

If you follow me on Facebook you’ll know I love home cooking and recently I made a massive batch of home grown blackberry jam and decided to see what it was like mixed with water. The Blackberries were passed through my juicer 5-6 times to remove every last seed and liquid from the pulp that made a very thick concentrated blackberry juice which was then added to organic demerara sugar and lemon juice, very simple, very healthy and bloody delicious!


Once mixed with water you don’t lose the flavour of the berries and it has a nice sharp after taste that leaves you refreshed when out on the road, especially in this heat.

So how does it nutritionally stand against the big names?

Homemade Blackberry Isotonic Energy Drink

  • 47g of homemade organic blackberry jam (no seeds or pulp)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Water

Estimated nutritional value

  • Calories: 114kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 30.5g
  • Sugars: 28.2g


HIGH5 Energy Source

  • 47g
  • Water

Listed Nutritional Value

  • Calories: 180 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 45g
  • Sugars: 16.0g


Nectar Sports Fuel Isotonic Concentrate (blackcurrant)

  •  50g
  • Water

Listed Nutritional Value

  • Calories: 120 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Sugars: 20.0g

As you can see there is very little difference between them, the HIGH5 powder is actually a carb drink and thus naturally has a higher carb %age. My jam on the other hand has a higher sugar content although I would argue that it’s all organic, homemade and doesn’t have any preservatives or other chemical enhancers, but like I said they are all pretty close.

On today’s ride and even at 6am the temperature hit 34°c. I used the homemade mix, it was easy to drink and had a nice sweet but sharp taste that didn’t leave a gritty or dry after taste in the mouth. More importantly it was easily digested and didn’t unsettle my stomach or digestive system.

The only down side I can see with using jam is basically it’s a premix that you leave the house with as there really isn’t a viable solution for taking it out on the road and then mixing.

Although this is homemade I looked at other jams and they are very close to mine regarding nutritional values. So I don’t see why others can’t experiment with this!

Get jamming!



eating disorders & disordered eating, by James Machin

guest writer James Machin* gives some nutritional advise and talks about the potential pitfalls of getting it all wrong.

Eating disorders have received a lot of press in recent years and we are well aware of anorexia, bulimia and binge eating, the deadly trio of nutritional mental disorders.

Many regard this as a problem that only women are afflicted with, however that is a common misconception held by most. Men are just as susceptible to the pressures that modern media and society put on our personal image and looks, and that combined with the increase in people taking up sport and being bombarded with advertisements regarding nutrition products means that more and more people and making unhealthy changes in their lifestyles that they believe, incorrectly, are healthy.

Harvard University undertook the first ever national study of eating disorders which revealed that in a population of nearly 3,000 adults, 25% of those with anorexia or bulimia and 40% of binge eaters were men. However many believe that the figures are higher still with many men reluctant to admit they have a problem, in main part due to the stigma attached to the issue.

This article is about the difference between eating disorders and disordered eating, which is an issue that is rapidly increasing within the circles of amateur athletes and even pro’s that do not have the support of a nutritionist or councilor that can address the issue.

What is the difference between eating disorders and disordered eating?

We all know what the 3 major eating disorders are but disordered eating is not well known and in comparison to the seriousness of anorexia and bulimia is swept under the carpet. However I personally believe that disordered eating is the first steppingstone to the more serious disorders.

So what exactly is disordered eating? Basically disordered eating describes irregular eating habits, such as self-starvation, bingeing, purging and exercising obsessively without constructive rest or nutrition to maintain the body’s natural equilibrium. Although there maybe some similarities between these and the clinically defined “Eating Disorders”, they are not diagnosed as such, and are instead considered atypical, or sub clinical.

A classic example of this is binge eating, followed by the mad dash to the gym during and after the festive season, or the crash diets 1 week before going on holiday, all examples of disordered eating habits that many of us are guilty of. Not life threatening per se but still these processes put your body under enormous pressure that can cause depression or stress and, possibly later or through repetition, may result in more serious disorders.

As a cyclist and cycling coach I hear all types of fad diets or disordered eating habits that individuals are involved in, from crash dieting for a certain hill climb race to completing cutting out carbohydrates from their diet or chicken and broccoli diets in the effort to lose unwanted body weight. Another form of disordered eating and one that I was guilty of until studying the subject of nutrition and mental health, is using food and beverages as a form of reward.

As endurance athletes, cyclists need to pay particular attention to the importance of refueling and maintaining a balanced and healthy diet, including hydration. Those of us that have cycle computers that can give you an estimated calorific expenditure will know it’s almost impossible to replace in a ride what we have burnt, and will often use this as an excuse to binge out the following day with the inner monologue chanting “You did burn 4000kcal yesterday!”

Unfortunately our bodies don’t work like that and this is another classic case of disordered eating.

The facts remain that to lose body fat, the best method for getting it off and keeping it off while maintaining healthy energy levels and a stable mental disposition is a steady effort that can last months, if not years depending on the target weight, by adapting to a balanced, healthy diet, combined with a structured and consistent exercise plan. (Notice I don’t use the word training).

The difference between training and exercise?

Some of you reading this may have been on the receiving end of what you might think was me trolling you: a classic example of this would be a Facebook post such as: “Great training ride today with the guys, 120km with 1500m of climbing, Epic ride!!!” with me asking “What are you training for?”

Yes, training sounds more “Pro” than exercising but there is a danger in this mentality, and we’ll get to this in a minute.

As a coach and nutritionist I sit my athletes down and explain to them the difference between training plans and exercise plans and what they actually need.

Training is when you have a specific objective or goal and a time frame you wish to achieve that goal in. It is incredibly structured with several different phases in training that slowly bring you to the point where the objective is achievable. There will often be primary and secondary goals, with performance markers on route to give a clear indication as to if and where gains are being made or lost.

Exercise and nutrition are constantly fine tuned to meet the needs and requirements of the athlete and (a) clear, concise and easy to understand explanations as to why performance is not improving, or, if it is, how and why. The athlete is fully aware of what is happening.

Exercise plans are exactly that, planning when you can fit exercise in to your daily routine that more commonly than not is sedentary: it’s about changing daily routines to fit it in.

Remember, walking to the train station, taking the stairs instead of the lift or escalator is exercise and these can be fitted into your exercise plans.

So what is the danger of treating exercise as training?

Most cyclists will plan their riding around a single day on the weekend, trying to squeeze out as much as possible in the short amount of hours they are able to dedicate, while also participating in some healthy rivalry within their peers (groups).

Many will have done very little aerobic or anaerobic exercise during the week, and this puts an incredible strain on our bodies. Coupled with poor nutrition and hydration choices, this one or two-day training ‘binge’ can have a disastrous effect on our health, and unlike for instance at a gym, there are very few riding groups that can offer professional coaching, fitting and nutrition to their riders.

This brings me back to nutrition. On many a group ride I see riders pulling a plethora or gels, bars and powders from their jersey pockets or emerging from the convenience store with sports drinks boasting of amino acids or electrolytes. These all have a time and a place but in reality your weekend ride is not really the place or the best option.

Some Facts;

Power Bar

Fat: 2g

Carbs: 45g

Protein: 10g

Calories from fat: 20

Total calories: 230kcal

Medium Banana (118g)

Fat: 0.4g

Carbs: 27g

Protein: 1.4g

Calories from fat: 0.4g

Total calories: 105kcal


Or how about the famous Pocari Sweat?

Water, sugar, citric acid, sodium citrate, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, calcium lactate, magnesium carbonate and flavor.

You really think this is good for you?

It’s a fact that during times of intense physical exertion our digestive system is slowed, with the body’s primary focus on hydration and then energy.

So if you are solely hydrating with sugary drinks over the course of a 5 hour ride, consuming gels and bars and with the body’s limit on how much it can digest per hour, what do you think is happening to this excessive sugar intake?

Well, our liver can only process a certain amount; once it’s full it then turns the glycogen into triglyceride which is commonly referred to as fat and most likely than not is then stored as visceral fat.

You get home from a great ride totally spent and craving something sweet, so after knocking back a beer to hydrate you raid the fridge or pick up the phone for takeout.

Sound familiar?

Let’s reconsider the opening paragraphs of this article again

“disordered eating describes irregular eating habits, such as self-starvation, bingeing, purging and exercising obsessively without constructive rest or nutrition to maintain the body’s natural equilibrium. Although there maybe some similarities between these and the clinically defined “Eating Disorders”, they are not diagnosed as such, and are instead considered atypical, or sub clinical.”

Now ask yourself: do I have disordered eating habits?

So what’s the answer?

Well it all depends on what you are doing. Many of us whom should know better are falling victim to the marketing of bars, gels, powders and supplements. We believe the pseudoscience given by self proclaimed guru’s, that their methods and techniques will work when in actual fact with a small bit of research and common sense these can be easily debunked.

Now don’t get me wrong, legitimate sports supplements have a time and a place in a serious athlete’s nutritional inventory (notice I don’t use the word diet).

If you are training for a 100km road race then chances are you want to eat on the fly, trying to replicate exactly the conditions you will be racing to. So you would be eating a balanced nutrition plan to sustain this kind of effort and would have built up to this kind of ride.

In this case the answer is simple, you’ll want the convenience of pre packed gels and bars and a bottle of carb drink and 1 of pure water with maybe a pinch of salt to get you through it. But you’d also be carrying real food, bananas, rice balls or other nutritional alternative and more likely than not you would have a meal prepared for your return normally high carb to be eaten within 20 minutes to actually take advantage of how the body works and thus carb loading intelligently and effectively.

(That’s right, stuffing a high carb meal the night before a ride is not carb loading and all you are doing is again saturating your liver glycogen levels)

But if you are out for the weekend ride with your friend’s then this has been touched on several times: you should be eating healthy real food. Here in Japan we are very spoilt with the proliferation of convenience store chains in even the remotest of places, not to mention the amazing amount of vending machines scattered along the road sides and hiking trails.

The choices on offer are also incredible, however unless you have a fat ratio of under 10% these products designed to replace the lost electrolytes or give you that boost to perform better than before just aren’t needed, and your own stored body fat will pretty much do exactly the same.

Now as I pointed out, the amount of calories we burn on a ride can be enormous and we are never truly going to be able to consume 3000+ kcal over the course of a ride, not unless you have a support car or prepared to stop every 45 minutes and eat something. What we can do is aid the body in breaking down fat into energy, and plain old water is excellent for this.

If You feel the need for something sugary then a mix of 20/80 (100%) pineapple, apple or grape juice and water is everything your body needs and will help you recover from any hunger knock or bonk better than any other product on the market.

You want a long burn fuel? Bananas are the ultimate food for endurance athletes and have been used for decades. Another is the simple Japanese Onigiri (Japanese white rice ball with filling and wrapped in seaweed) which have been the go-to energy food since the 17th century, when warring Samurai would eat them on the battlefield. The portion size is perfect and gives you pretty much everything you need. A Tuna-Mayo Onigiri will give you 232 kcal, while the Salmon a healthier 192kcal. Buy two, one for now and one for an hour and a half later.

You’ll be surprised how much energy they give you when you are waging your own personal battle on some remote mountain pass.

Where do I go from here?

Many of us look forward to our weekend rides, we plan the routes, organise the meeting place and more likely than not plan where you will put in the killer attack that will blow away your peers on a certain Strava segment or signpost, but for most the planning and preparation stops there.

This is actually the time when you should be preparing your nutrition and hydration for the ride: again stuffing your face with pasta is not going to help here. But increasing the amount of food with low glycemic indices such as fruit and vegetables or, if you can get it, whole grain pasta or bread which have a minimal effect on serum glucose levels is highly recommended to people with sedentary life styles during the week.

Watching your hydration practices midweek is also beneficial as not only will it help with your digestion but will slowly increase your retained water, ready for the weekend ride. Again throwing back a liter of water in one go every hour on the hour will in actual fact have a negative impact on performance as it stretches the stomach and can lead to over eating.

Probably the most essential meal before a ride is your breakfast. They say eating a balanced meal 3 hours before a ride offers the optimal performance, however if you have a 6am start I doubt anyone has an appetite at 3am, and in this case rest is probably more important than getting up to eat.

Easy to digest foods such as fruits, yogurt and oatmeal (notice that again these are low glycemic indices) are excellent for pre-ride fueling. Coffee is also a welcome addition as the caffeine helps the oxidation of fat over a period of 4 hours. (8mg of caffeine is recommended, which is equal to about 2 mugs of coffee).

And finally something to eat like a banana while you go through the obligatory 30 minutes of “Faffing” at the meeting place.

At the end of the day it’s all common sense, the majority of people really don’t need the processed, prepacked energy fuels which in actual fact in most cases offer very little benefit compared to readily available food at your local convenience store. Stop and think too before you hit the fridge when you get home – optimal time to eat is within 20 minutes of getting off the bike, and protein and carbs are what you should be hitting.


*James’ Bio: Elite/Pro CX Cat1 Roadie, Professional coach, nutritionist and qualified chef (something very rare in nutritionists apparently) 2010 – 2012 winner of the Japan Road Series (JCRC) Winner of the 2012 Nikkan Sports; Tour Du Japon and 3rd over in 2010. If you wish to contact James please contact crankpunk

Inga Thompson: Challenge The System

In a weird, sad way, I’ve enjoyed watching the whole doping scandal unfold.  It’s been somewhat cathartic, 20 years later, giving me a small, tiny feeling of vindication….but then again, not really.

More emphasis needs to be placed upon the System that facilitated this whole doping scandal, and how it has become so out of control.  It really isn’t all about Lance (pun intended).

Lance was just the Golden Child that happened along, falling into the open arms of the United States Cycling Federation, currently USAC.  The links that connect the main players, the likes of Eddy Borysewicz, Thom Weisel, Chris Carmichael and Jim Ochowicz  have been covered up for years, and are best illustrated by the diagram below.

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too complex to understand? not at all, just follow the lines…

The Wall Street Journal article written by Reed Albergotti and Vanessa O’Connell, entitled ‘New Twist In Armstrong Saga’ also, thankfully, has helped put things into perspective and is a must read for anyone trying to figure out exactly how incestuous this whole affair really is.

I don’t even know where to start writing about this insidious system.  I am also well aware of the fact that I am not privy to all the information, but what I come away with from all this though is the firm conviction that these men, who have been controlling so much of the world of professional cycling, should be taken out of our sport.

They obviously own the sport.  Thom Weisel and Jim Ochowicz managing the funds of the ex-President of the UCI, when he was still in charge?  Thom Weisel putting in place the President of the USAC? Eddy B bringing in to US cycling the doping techniques he learned in the East? A famous coach ‘preparing’ young riders before races?


Tom Weisel

It’s so glaringly obvious that they need to be removed.

After reading the WSJ article, do you STILL think this is just about Lance?

He was just the fortunate golden child of the Big Boys, having fun being Boys.

Let’s dope the young kids coming up, tempt them with fame, money and drugs.  Get them into The System, get them working, pull the strings, make money by any means necessary.

Starting to sound a bit like prostitution, isn’t it?

Jim Ochowicz with LA

Jim Ochowicz with LA

The Big Boys can slap themselves on the back, drunk with the giddiness of their power to control and manipulate ‘The System’ of cycling. They’ve been doing it for years. OUR beautiful sport.  The one I desperately love!  Just a toy for them.  A toy for them to tear apart, to sully.  Do you think they are fully aware of the damage they’ve done to our sport?

I wonder if they have that much self-awareness ?

I would welcome the public to help fight back by more emphasis being put on removing the Big Boys of ‘The System’.  Not just the ones I’ve mentioned, but everyone implicated in this scam should be Black Listed.

It’s been too easy to point fingers at the riders.  We need to be pointing our fingers at the Big Boys.  I would like to invite the Bicycling Hall of Fame to take a good hard look at their roster of Inductees.  Look at the men that have helped put this System together.

It takes courage to do the right thing, to take them out of the USA Hall of Fame. This would be a nice first step.  Jail for these Big Boys would be a nice second step, but they seem to be above the law.  I don’t believe that a cyclist that has a positive test in their history should be inducted either.


Only open the door to those who had and still have the courage to make the right choices in the face of adversity, otherwise, we, too, are complicit in the continuation of that line of thinking that goes: ‘It’s okay if you dope, we will forgive you’. 

One can get caught with a small amount of marijuana and go to jail, but you can inject yourself with PED’s and just get a 6 month ban from your Federation?  What’s wrong with this picture?  Why are the coaches and directors pushing these drugs not looking at the same jail time that a drug dealer would face?

They are doping our children!  Must we continue to count the number of athletes that have died or have health problems for us to realize just how harmful this is?

I’ve gotten some flack for my stance, people saying I should be more compassionate with those that get caught.  Being told I should forgive.  But when you put that needle in, it isn’t an accident.

I think the previous penalty of a 6 month ban was already pretty compassionate.  It obviously didn’t work.  Kinda like when a robber steals, a slap on the wrist probably won’t do much to stop his behavior.  Potential jail time helps, doesn’t fix it, but at least there is a harsher consequence than a slap.

BUT, a cheating personality is a cheating personality, no matter what the consequence.  Look at Philippe Gaumont, the French former pro who admitted to doping in a book in 2005 and who was recently hospitalized wit ‘unspecified heart problemns.’  I think the last paragraph of this article kinda spells out the mindset of those who choose to dope:  “Although he has a wife and three children, Gaumount recently said that he hadn’t left the wild ways behind him completely. “

'a prisoner of doping,' the ex pro Gaumont is now in an induced  coma

‘a prisoner of doping,’ the ex pro Gaumont is now in an induced coma

“I’ll never be on the right path. When I party, I do it completely,” he told in mid February. “If I want to kiss a girl, I’ll kiss a girl. The excesses are not finished. Besides, I’ve a big party this weekend for my 40th birthday.”

I believe that had Gaumount had a lifetime ban after his first infraction, he would still be  healthy today to be a proper father and a husband.  Do you still believe that a 6 month ban is appropriate?   I’d like to talk to his wife and children and get their opinion.  One could argue that our Cycling Federations are at fault for his current condition, for not enacting stronger penalties.

Think of all the Health Care Professionals that are at fault and called to account in the health care industry for not reporting or properly treating life threatening illnesses.  Why shouldn’t our Federations be held to a higher standard too?

When a drug dealer sells drugs to our children, he does time in jail. I just bet they would love to be able to pay the victim and get the records sealed. Would you be okay with drug dealers convicted of shooting up your kid with drugs to pay a penalty fee, get the documents sealed and go back to dealing?

Yet, the men who doped Greg Stroak, without his knowledge, pay a penalty and get the documents sealed.  We should be outraged about this!  AGAIN, the penalties need to be changed!!!!

It is disturbing to see Spain allowing the destruction of evidence.  This is evidence that could help clean up sports.  I feel they, too, are complicit.  At first, I thought Nicole Cook’s statement that they should be banned from hosting the Olympics was just too much.  After thinking about this for a few days, I couldn’t agree more.

Nicole Cooke

Nicole Cooke

Why should a country that helps cover up doping be allowed to make money off the Olympics?  Countries should also be held accountable for helping cleaning up the sport.  Somehow, allowing them to host the Olympics seems like a stamp of approval for their cover up.  Spain should be required to hand over the evidence in the effort to fight doping.

I believe that the U.S. International Olympic Committee should also vote against Madrid’s Olympic Bid.

Pat McQuaid was recently renominated for the UCI Presidentcy.  I was left incredulous.  Finally, after a bit of blowback, his nomination is being reevaluated.

It’s a start.  I’ll take it.

When you put that syringe into the vial, either for yourself or an athlete, you should lose the right to continue to be a part of the sport.  Any other profession has a code of ethics that must be followed.  Cycling needs to step up to the plate and start writing a code of ethics for coaches, directors, sponsors, etc.

I challenge the pubic to actively call for stiffer penalties for those who dope and enable doping, and demand they lose their current position and any right to a future position in the sport.

Race Directors, please don’t invite them to cycling functions to be honorary guests and lead Gran Fondos.

the dopers, it seems, are still smiling

the dopers, it seems, are still smiling

Bicycling Hall of Fame, remove those that have doped or helped with the System of doping.   Cycling bodies need to write a code of ethics not just the athletes but for everyone else involved in the sport too.

Fear will be one of the largest hurdles the public faces in the effort to fix our sport. Fear of taking a stand, fear of the loss of a job, fear of making enemies, fear of the judgments of others – and all in the name of taking the dopers out of our sport.

It seems so obvious that they should be removed from the sport.  This is something we have to fight for, to provide a different, better and cleaner vision of the sport to our children., much like our forefathers fought for the changes in society and in law that allow us to live as we do today.

It seems so obvious now to us that black people should have been free men from the beginning, yet think of all the blood that was spilled over this difference of opinion.  Women also fought desperately against the common thinking of the time and made many enemies in their quest to get the right to vote.  Some even lost their lives.

Yet it seems so obvious, now, that women should have the vote.

women? vote? pish posh!

women? vote? pish posh!

I believe that we are at a similar crossroads with our sport today.  It seems so obvious that any one, in any position, that has been part of the Doping System needs to be removed, yet we are resisting this move – being told to just forgive them, being told that they have a lot to contribute, that we need them to move forward.

I’ll forgive them once they are out of the sport.  Until then, as I see it, they continue to do help facilitate doping even by merely being here, within the framework and fabric of the sport.

There is no one easy fix for what they have done to our sport.  It will take many, many big and difficult steps to regain any real measure of dignity.  This journey will be fraught with many battles, but the battles will be worth it if we can win the war against drugs and the business men that capitalize our athletes.

I seriously doubt many of those athletes, when they first jumped on the bike thought,  ‘Wow, I can’t wait to take drugs.’

And yet look at the reality of their lives now.


Yes, OUR sport.  They lost their privileges to the club a long time ago.



Inga Thompson was a professional cyclist from 1984 to 1993, during which time she rode in 3 Olympics, won National titles on 4 occasions, and finished 2nd in two World Championships. She can, as they say, ride a bit…

guest writer Max Torque makes a couple of perky, pertinent points

former professional EPO taker Max Torque tells it like he sees it, and, to be honest, he sees it like no one else could possibly see it. here he gives a brief dissertation of this beginner’s guide film out of Russia.


no no no no! there are several things i have no time for when it comes to cycling, and innacuracy, sloppy technique, inadequate clothing and the waste of natural resources are pretty darned high amongst them. and this film from Russia has the lot. it’s like a ‘how-not-tofor beginners…

stunt riding, undertaken without proper supervision, can lead to serious injury and a penchant for hipster-style clothing

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guest writer Myles McCorry gets all Rocky with it

Myles McCorry is the name of the man behind, the independent anti-doping association run and funded by cycling fans, hard at work trying to help clean up the sport. Myles, a racer/rider for some 25 years, takes some time out from his schedule to very graciously give some to crankpunk, and here he explains just how to beat those Indoor Trainer Blues, with a little help from an Italian-American gentleman with large breasts and a half-paralyzed face…


keep your hands up! he’s hurtin’!

hey! call yourself a crankpunk? then get crankin’!

Keen and excited for the season ahead? Nervous about your impending form? Worry not; I have the solution, the Philadelphia solution. Simply follow these three steps and I will guarantee you a better season than last. No magic or potions, just a trio of easy steps and progress for any competitive cyclist will result. Measurable improvements in personal best times, stage race placings or club run sprints. 3 simple progressions.

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Adam Semple: guest writer

Adam Semple has been kind enough to agree to take a quick break from being a pro cyclist on the UCI Continental (and rather successful) Drapac Cycling Team.

born in ’89 and still a sometime student, Adam had perhaps his best season in terms of results in 2011, when he won two stages at the Tour de Taiwan. crankpunk met Adam on the Asia Tour somewhere and was most impressed not only by the maturity of the young cranker but also by the way he rode his bike (and for the fact that being Australian seemed not to have held him back in life, which is commendable). what isn’t written on the cq ranking system is that Adam rode his arse off at the Tour de Taiwan this season too as he worked tirelessly to secure the GC win for teammate Rhys Pollock.

you don’t get points for riding like that but you do earn the respect of your peers…

the cool thing about Drapac is that the team is more about helping to shape people through competitive cycling, with the emphasis on doing it the right way, than putting your EPO-stained fist through the other guys’ faces, and Adam adheres to that too. in the mire that pro cycling is in right now many fans are asking where the clean riders are. well, we are here, busting our backsides, getting the odd result here and there and doing it all for the love of two wheels and a crank.

and with the intro done, i’ll leave it to Adam…

Adam winning in Taiwan in 2011

in this oh-so-proud moment of ‘The Life of Cycling’ (Terry Jones we are waiting), lest we forget those who irrevocably declared their innocence for so long to now suffer the impotence which is their demise. surely we could say that since the ‘stormy days’ (roughly a few years ago, all the way back to the dawn of cycling) cycling hasn’t had the smoothest rails to ride on.

scandals a-plenty…

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