First of all, I am not going to post about L.A. because I know what I think of him and I really don't care what anyone else thinks of him. It is done and in the past....so I choose to let it go.
Second, yes...I am going to talk about cheating, but I am talking on many different levels. I will start at the top and it will trickle down to the Beginner level.
Professional cheaters: We all know that riders have been using performance enhancers for years. Many have tested positive and some haven't. The main thing I want to touch on is in the simple form "if everyone else is doing it.....why can't I?" This is not just in cycling. I am talking across the board with professional athletes. Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens are just two examples of major impact players that used some sort of drug to make them better. Ricky Williams gave up professional football for a few years because he would rather smoke weed. I realize this is a different drug, but I can't think of a football player off the cuff that has been popped for steroids. So if these guys are using enhancers, like some in the peloton, why can't the other guys use the same thing to even the playing field. Simple answer, it is cheating. These guys are looking for an edge to make them better. Sure, hard work and dedication might work but everyone is chasing dollars and to compete some people need that little boost. I wonder if a large number of the peloton started eating shit for dinner if the rest of the group would follow suit.
Local cheaters: On my level the cheating is done way differently than popping pills or sticking a needle in an arm. It might be subtle. A guy, or girl, that should be racing in Sport but decides a pile of cheap medals or trophies is in order might drop to Beginner and win by 20 minutes. I hope that makes you feel good that you can destroy people that are slower than you are. I also hope you know that everyone knows who you are and they hate you. I know there are always the times when a person is first racing and really doesn't know what class to enter so they jump in Beginner. I would hope if they win by 20 minutes that they take consideration into moving up to the next class. I could have stayed in Beginner another year just to go out and try to win, but the challenge for me was to move up and see what I could accomplish. Got smashed every race I entered, but I figure that was more fun that trying to stay in a group that I don't belong in anymore.
MAJOR cheater....maybe not: At a race last year that was a time trial I was checking my time against the winning times of Beginner...for a little ego boost. Upon looking at my time I would have finished in 2nd....nearly 28 minutes slower than 1st place. Huh? I couldn't believe that my time was that high...but I would have lost by 28 minutes. Yeah....you cheated dude. So looking at this guys time I was like "damn, that dude is fast....especially for a clyde....a beginner clyde". I couldn't help myself and I looked at the top times for entire race. His was first. Not first in Beginner, but first OVERALL. He beat experts, elites, everyone that touched a pedal that day and he raced Beginner Clyde? Yikes. I can tell you exactly how this guy cheated and it may or may not have been on purpose. The course had an intersection where you were supposed to go left and then you come back into the same intersection and go right. Maybe he went right and cut out say....30 minutes of trail from his race. I don't know the guy and nobody complained so the standings held but I wonder if the dude stood on the podium and was thinking "I am a cheater"