Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fake News: UCI Collapse Throws Riders in Disarray

A comment passed on the following story from the Boston Fake News Service...

International stories often have regional affects, and this is true for yesterday's folding of cycling's international governing body,the UCI.

The UCI sanctions USA Cycling, and without the UCI, USA Cycling has no authority. Local races have been disrupted. We visited the weekly Charlie Baker Time Trial, a short race held every week in Concord. Cyclists came to race, only to be turned away. Cyclist Eugene Quadsky from Quincy said "I came here to do a time trial, and it turns out there's no one to take my money. If I can't buy a one-day license, how am I suppose to find out how fast I am?"


Carl Legzenfeit from Lexington agreed. "Without someone to pay, we're basically just a bunch of tourists out for a Sunday ride."

Some suggested that they could collect the money, as a replacement for the UCI was bound to come along soon. Someone volunteered to hold the money in escrow for up to five years. But ultimately most were worried that no replacement would be found by then, and that no one would ever sanction the results. Even if a new governing body formed, it was pointed out there's no guarantee they would sanction the race retroactively. Worse, riders worried that they would be forced to take their entry fees back.

Others were even more pessimistic. Cindy Hamstreen from Harwich said that if the situation wasn't cleared up soon, she'd sell her bike on craigslist and take up curling. "At least curling has an international body that knows how to properly collect fees", she muttered.

A small group of riders tried to proceed with the race anyway, but they met with no success. Talks got bogged down on a few critical issues, like whether to start new riders every thirty seconds, or every minute. After a suggestion to compromise at 45 seconds, talks collapsed.

Most riders scoffed at the effort anyway. Quadsky said "You can't honestly expect to ride without the UCI. It's not even a race if they aren't here to pocket our hard-earned cash.

One lone unidentified cyclist wouldn't give up. He threw his one-day license money on the ground and declared that he was going to ride the course on his own, using his wristwatch for timing.

Other cyclists laughed and shook their heads.

"Crazy bastard", said Legzenfeit. "He just doesn't understand the importance of the UCI".