Saturday, April 26, 2008

One Million!?

The accuracy is a little dubious, but the Sitemeter over there on the right went past one million this evening.

It is hard to believe.

I think, all things considered, that we'd all have preferred never to have had to go down this road, but it has been a trip that none of those involved will ever forget.

Everyone here is more or less winding down. There isn't that much news, nor much to say. After all the words, we suspect darned few people have changed their minds about a lot of things since, oh, about mid-August 2006. That's kind of sad, because a lot of information has become available -- but it has mostly been used to reinforce positions that had been pretty well locked in place in an instant.

Our hopes, at this point, are that

  • Those with eyes will have learned that the WADA system is not setup to ensure substantive due process.
  • Statements by Alphabet-soup organizations will be taken with skepticism similar to that given denials by athletes.
  • The final award is made by CAS is be well-supported and logically consistent, unlike the AAA result.
  • Subsequent events are perceived to be rational and fair.
We also hope that Floyd Landis and his family can eventually reach peace.

No one can ever say he gave up. Despite all the pressure, he's held his position of innocence since the beginning. He'll have paid all the penalty possible, and he's going to carry forward with that as baggage no matter what the underlying truth.

One step at a time he's had to make decisions, and we hope he feels that most of them were well-advised, well-considered, and well-chosen. There will always be nay-sayers who will point to any number of steps and say, "he shouldn't have done that", probably starting at becoming a professional bike racer. Where do we go now?

For all the complexity of the pro-cycling environment, it remains an exciting, beautiful, and multi-layered sport. Landis has the gift, and it sad not to see him there on the Brasstown Bald, doing it today.

As for TBV, the natural lifespan of this endeavor is probably coming to an end, at least on the daily basis. We started as a lark, to share things between Mr. and Mrs. TBV. We've been variously thrilled, shocked, and horrified at various times to find that anyone else cared.

Thanks to all who have contributed material, commentary, criticism, and support, especially Paula, who has been doing the heavy lifting on the daily posts for a very long time. Ride your bikes, watch the races, and know that life worth living has complexity and challenges. You don't always win, or figure it out, but you should give it your best shot without regret.

For me most of all, love to Mrs. TBV, who has been behind us all the way, even when it has been personally very difficult. As with many other things, we could never have known going in where it would lead.



bobble said...

Actually your real hit count is only 924, the other 990,076 were a script to pad the stats by crushing your ip!

Thanks for standing up for truth, justice and the American way.

[cue the sound of cape flapping in the breeze]

strbuk said...

I million!! Amazing, and for the most part a pleasure and an education. Thanks to all who check us out every day to see what's up. As TBV said, it's time to start the "wind down," that is unless some thing "big" happens. I am sure that it appears it must be easy to just stop posting, but as we have discovered in the past few weeks or so it's not. It's a habit and more. But life does go on and does exist outside of this tiny narrow world. Recent events in my life have made the motivation to post harder and harder to come by. But, no matter how difficult blogging some days, are nothing going here can compare to what the Landis family (and extended fanily) have been forced to endure. So... here's to TBV, all the readers, and Floyd. Let's NOT try for 1 million more :-)

str (Paula)

whareagle said...

Listen, all of you, thank you for your unending determination to bring this injustice to light, in a fair, sophisticated, honest process. I understand your fatigue, but I do hope you'll contribute periodically as we finish up the Landis observations and ruminate over the final judgment. I also hope that at some point the theme of "Trust, but Verify" can be morphed from one case in to the general concept of athlete rights, dispelling innuendo with fact, and promoting the sport and its' athletes with a positive attitude, an open and unguarded and scientific degree of optimism instead of skepticism, and let's hope but be prepared to ramp it all up again should the need arise.

Justice for the athletes. Justice for the Sport.

Unknown said...

Like whareagle, I understand the fatigue. I have no clue how you did this and still managed to conduct your real lives. I think this blog did alot in exposing the lack of due process in the current WADA system, and that the mainstream press could have helped to expose this, if they'd only spent the time to come here and read. I still hope there's some time/energy left to discuss the CAS judgement, when it becomes available (Larry, Mike, you game?)

Best to you guys.

Russ said...

one Million, WOW, you may not feel that this is a point of celebration but it is a milestone of your hard work. It is an appropriately timed milestone in the flow and culmination of events.

So thanks for providing Floyd the support and me the information.

As whareagle pointed out, may your work grow into and help result in a more fair and just system and real athletes protected rights.

nahual said...

It does have the feeling the party is closing down, the band is slowing down, the balloons are coming down. I've been delightedly surprized when I check in to see strbuk's postings for the morning. Absolutely above & beyond, stunningly well done.

Thanks TBV, strbuk et al for giving this blog over to the affairs of Floyd, the alphabet soup groups, and those with deep knowledge of scientific & legal issues.

I remain firmly convinced Floyd was done a great injustice and is the 2006 TdF champion. I hope he comes back for some repeats.

"There will always be the fire to bring home, through the same hardships and doubts and adversities of one's life that make up the triumph of having lived it." H.L. Davis, Honey in the Horn

Ali said...

It's sad hearing phrases like "winding down". Sad, but a blessed relief in many respects.

I'm also feeling happy and optimistic. There was little I could do, but, like all of those who believed in Floyd, I did what I could. Even if that's just voicing your support, it all counts ... a lot.

So, I'm looking forward now and, ironically, enjoying my cycling more than ever. Recent events - seeing Floyd cracking on with his cycling and sort of going back to basics has injected new found enthusiasm and humility into my own approach to what is really no more than a hobby for me.

This guy won the Tour de France and he's now enjoying racing muddy tracks with enthusiastic amateurs ... people like me. Yes, I feel humbled and certain that I backed the right horse in this race.

Of course, it goes without saying, respect to those who kept this site charging along. Another humbling achievement.

I'm so unworthy :-)


Larry said...

I guess that 1 million hits is a significant and amazing accomplishment. But I'm not a numbers guy. More significant to me is the quality of the information posted here. More amazing to me is that the voices here (with few exceptions) have maintained a civil and polite tone, and that all points of view have been respected.

I agree with TBV, I feel a great sense of sadness over what has happened to Floyd Landis. But TBV, if your sense is that not much has been accomplished here, I respectfully disagree. Maybe all this started as a "lark", as you say, but it ended as a community of people who cared about the Landis case, about truth and justice, and about each other.

The creation of a caring community is maybe the most significant thing I can think of.

Thanks to TBV, STRBUK and every one of the rest of you.

(and yeah DB, I'll be there to dissect the decision of the CAS)

wschart said...

It is probably true that whatever discussions here have not done much to change positions, which by and large were already staked out. It is probably true that our discussions here have not affected the results of the arbitration hearing last May, nor how the various "alphabets" conduct their affairs, not have much if any affect on the CAS verdict.

But that doesn't mean that this site and the effort that went into it went for naught. While positions may not have changed, we all have a better understanding of both the science involved in PED testing and of the "legal" standards (or lack thereof) used to enforce anti-PED efforts. We have a better understanding of those involved in the anti-doping efforts. We have been made to actually think about things, even if we still ultimately base our opinion on Floyd Landis on a gut reaction more than cerebral reasoning. Kudos to all involved, TBV, strbuk, Marc, Judge Hue as well as all the posters.

I can well understand winding down. I hope that that doesn't mean a total end to things, even if updates are few and infrequent.

racejunkie said...

Say it ain't so, Trustbut! The world of cycling commentary and analysis will be far the lamer (and certainly the denser) for the loss of your wisdom, dedication, and thoughtfulness. I hope that when (though I prefer to think "if") you stop, it will be some comfort to know that not only have you done Floyd Landis a colossal service, and so helpfully explained the science at issue to those nondexters among with no hope of dissecting it ourselves, but that you've so forcefully demanded that the arbitrary travesties that have recent doping prosecutions to a higher, fairer standard. Thank you so much, and as to the one million mark, smashing, but far less than you actually deserve!



5-iron said...

You know that commercial, where people can't make coffee or drive the car, and the voice-over says "you may have to learn how to do things all over again without a cigarette"? Replace 'cigarette' with 'TBV' and that's me.
It's sad, but understandable, that this has to come to an end (actually, it's sad that it had to even start). Thank you (everyone) for your time and devotion to bringing us the truth. You should all be surrounded by tons of good karma!

PEM said...

One million hits. Another milestone. Wow.

If most are like me, I check your site at least 3 times per day since November 2006. That’s about 550 days or over 1600 hits by me alone. That means there are about 600 other people like me who like to linger here, or you actually did get lots of visitors, or something in between.

With 1600 hits, you most certainly reinforced what I believed back in August 2006. I have learned a lot from the compassionate, intelligent and polite people that comment here.

For winding down, yes, there is less news to report for now. TBV has not miss a day reporting something, even when there is nothing to report. Your problem is to let the first day go without reporting anything. USADA had a similar problem of not losing a case. It is hard to let go of a perfect record. I need to go a day without “checking in”.

daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...

TBV, strbuk, Marc, Ali, Bill and everyone who's ever commented here or contributed to the effort:

What an amazing thing to get one million hits. The service this site has provided in illuminating not only the Landis case, but also the current state of how anti-doping efforts are conducted, has been (and still is) extremely valuable and needed.

I know it's taken an incredible amount of effort, by both TBV and strbuk, especially, in order to keep this site updated throughout the day, seven days a week.

While things may be winding down, I do hope that something morphs out of this adventure in publishing, something along the lines of what whareagle mentioned in his comment, above.

Best wishes to all, and congrats again on the milestone.

Eightzero said...

I too would like to add my thanks to everyone at TBV. The experience has been educational, and I am grateful to all the contributors. Even the occasional trolls have been entertaining, if nothing else.

I share in your hopes. I am gratified by your wish that the CAS award is "well-supported and logically consistent." It would be all too easy to simply say "find for Floyd" but it is to your (collective) credit that we simply wish for fairness and justice. Only an examination of the entire record will suffice, and in my mind, the conclusion inescapable. However, your objective approach is much, much appreciated, and again, I thank you.

Still, while we're at it, let's not forget that it is far from certain that the CAS award will be "the last word" for Floyd. The final chapter, I suspect, will be stranger than we could have ever imagined in July of 2006.

Please stay around until the encores are complete!

TiGirl said...

Thank you TBV for all the information and analysis and laughs and tears and angst and most of all for being so faithful.

May the service you provided here be returned to you a hundred fold, in many wonderful ways.

And while the underlying issues may not be resolved for a while to come, may your mind be at peace for knowing that you did all you could to ensure people could/would be well informed if they so chose.

While minds may not have been directly changed here, I know minds around me that were opened and changed when I presented information that I gleaned from your site.

So to all of you, TBV, Starbuck, Judge Hue, Ali, the guy in France (sorry, name escapes me right now), thank you for your persistance and determination and insights. And ditto to many of you who posted thoughts and insights here as well.

Keep fighting the good fight.

If Floyd reads this, I echo TBV's sentiments. You and your family are special people, and it is my sincere hope that somehow, someway, some day, you will be vindicated and honored for your accomplishments and tenacity. God bless you and your beautiful wife and daughter.

Aww shucks, I think I'm going to cry now. I'll miss you guys!

Oh yeah, and out, I'll look for you in Tahoe in September...I can now actually ride down the hill on my mtb faster than I can climb up the hill! HA! Are you quaking in your mud-coated bike shoes yet????

TBV>>>I"ll see you at Diablo!!!!

Ride on, ride with passion,
and much aloha all around!


Unknown said...

To strbuk, TBV, and everybody: thank you. A million hits is like...a lot.

I hope everyone will stick around until, or come back when, the CAS decision is announced. That will be interesting to dissect, win or lose.


Bill Mc said...

The best measure of this site is not quantitative, though 1 million+ hits is impressive, but rather qualitative. The consistent high quality of the information, opinions, and musings posted here is what sets this site apart from most others. It is second only to the Daily Show, with which it shares many positive attributes, as my favorite news and information source. If it is indeed winding down, then I hope that its final editions will be reporting on, and commentary about, Floyd's victory at CAS.

Thanks and kudos to TBV, STRBUK, and the cast of thousands which have made this site so great.

Thomas A. Fine said...

Damn, how many of those hits must be mine!?!?

At any rate, part of a song, for you and Floyd:

Sittin' and starin' out of the hotel window.
Got a tip they're gonna kick the door in again
I'd like to get some sleep before I travel,
But if you got a warrant, I guess you're gonna come in.

Busted, down on bourbon street,
set up, like a bowlin' pin.
Knocked down, it gets to wearin' thin.
they just won't let you be, oh no.

You're sick of hangin' around and you'd like to travel;
Get tired of travelin' and you want to settle down.
I guess they can't revoke your soul for tryin',
Get out of the door and light out and look all around.

Sometimes the lights all shinin' on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me
what a long, strange trip its been.