The responsibilities of a cyclist

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The thing about being a cyclist is that sometimes ‘non-cyclists’ take you as a representative of the cycling world. I remember when a close friend mentioned to me.

“I was walking on a path – and one of your lot nearly knocked me off.”

It took me a while to work out that ‘one of your lot’ meant a fellow human being on a bicycle. I couldn’t say I felt much responsibility for the act of random stranger, but there you have it. Sometimes you have to take it on the chin. (By the way, it doesn’t work the other way around saying to others. “One of your fellow motorists nearly knocked me unconscious.:)

Representing the cycling world also extends to the world of professional cycling. I haven’t been asked if I’m going to ride the Tour de France for quite a long time. But I do know at an upcoming Christmas Party, I will have several inquiries about the Chris Froome drug saga. If I was going to answer properly I would try to mention the relevant points from this excellent blog by Inner Ring.

But, I doubt I would be able to finish the sentence below, before someone will lose interest, interrupt and offer his generalised opinion.

“Threshold for Inhaled salbutamol: maximum 1600 micrograms over 24 hours, not to exceed 800 micrograms every 12 hours;
The presence in urine of salbutamol in excess of 1000 ng/mL… …is presumed not to be an intended therapeutic use of the substance and will be considered as an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) unless the Athlete proves, through a controlled pharmacokinetic study, that the abnormal result was the consequence of the use of the therapeutic dose (by inhalation) up to the maximum dose indicated above.
WADA banned list

To be honest, with all the falsehood, injustice and bad things happening in the world, a professional athlete taking too much asthma medication ranks pretty low on the list of things I want to get worked up about just at the moment.

But, it’s hard to avoid the fact this is another blow for the sport. Another winter of discontent where, without any real cycling to distract attention, the bandwidth will be full of this story.

Team Sky literally had one job.

1. Don’t take drugs

In particular make sure Chris Froome doesn’t fail a drugs test. It was the one thing that should have trumped everything else. It does make you wonder. It’s not as if he knew he wasn’t going to get tested.

One thing you could say about this drug story is that there doesn’t seem to be any lying.  “I took the salbutomol within prescribed limits. I just didn’t expect it to cause a failed test.” It is all a bit depressing.

It maybe little crumb of comfort, but at least there is none of the usual theatrics about a pet dog having a voracious appetite for EPO.


Well Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year. And just remember if anyone brings up Chris Froome’s drug test at a Christmas Party, the secret is to respond with a joke:

“I bought some shoes from a drug dealer. I don’t know what he laced them with, but I’ve been tripping all day.”

“Why did the duck get arrested? Because he was selling quack.”

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